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´╗┐Title: How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves - Updated to 1900
Author: Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves - Updated to 1900" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves, updated to 1900, by W.H.G.


This is a history of the British Navy, originally written by Kingston,
but as he had died many years before 1900, and as it was felt that this
book ought to go up to that year, it was edited and re-issued by the
friends of Kingston, in particular by Henty.

It is a serious book, yet it is an easy one to read.  It is also a very
interesting book, that all British boys and girls, even now, more than a
hundred years after the book was published, would do well to read.

One thing of special interest is that today's naval families, families
that have traditionally sent sons to a distinguished career in the Navy,
can look back, and read of the exploits of their forbears.

On the other hand, because of the very large numbers of names in the
book it would probably not make a good audiobook, and we have not tried





Rome was not built in a day, nor has the glorious British Navy attained
its present condition except by slow degrees, by numerous trials and
experiments, by improvements gradually and cautiously introduced, and by
the employment of a vast amount of thought, energy, and toil.  We are
apt to forget when we see an elaborate machine, the immense quantity of
mental and physical exertion it represents, the efforts of the united
minds perhaps of many successive generations, and the labour of
thousands of workmen.  I propose briefly to trace the progress which the
British Navy has made from age to age, as well as its customs, and the
habits of its seamen, with their more notable exploits since the days
when this tight little island of ours first became known to the rest of
the world.

Some writers, indulging in the Darwinian theory of development, would
make us believe that the ironclad of the present day is the legitimate
offspring of the ancient coracle or wicker-work boat which is still to
be found afloat on the waters of the Wye, and on some of the rivers of
the east coast; but if such is the case, the descent must be one of many
ages, for it is probable that the Britons had stout ships long before
the legions of Cassar set their feet upon our shores.  I am inclined to
agree with an ancient writer who gives it as his opinion that the
British were always a naval people.  "For," says he, in somewhat quaint
phraseology, "as Britain was an island, the inhabitants could only have
come to it across the ocean in ships, and they could scarcely have had
ships unless they were nautically inclined."  The same writer asserts
that the Britons had vessels of large size long before the invasion of
the Romans, but that they either burnt them to prevent their falling
into the hands of the invaders, or that they were destroyed by the
Romans themselves, who then, adding insult to injury, stigmatised the
people as mere painted barbarians, whose sole mode of moving over the
waters of their coasts and rivers was in wicker baskets covered with
hides--the truth being, that these wicker-ribbed boats were simply the
craft used by the British fishermen on their coasts or streams.  How
could the hordes that in successive ages crossed the German Ocean have
performed the voyage unless they had possessed more efficient means of
conveyance than these afforded?  I must, therefore, agree with the
aforesaid ancient writer that they had stout ships, impelled by sails
and oars, which were afterwards employed either in commercial or
piratical enterprises.  The Britons of the southern shores of the island
possessed, he says, wooden-built ships of a size considerably greater
than any hide-covered barks could have been.  It is very certain that
many hundred years before the Christian era the Phoenicians visited the
coasts of Cornwall and Devonshire, and planted colonies there, which
retain to the present day their ancient peculiarities and customs, and
even many names of common things.  It is probable that these colonists,
well acquainted as they were with nautical affairs, kept up their
practical knowledge of shipbuilding, and formed a mercantile navy to
carry on their commerce with other countries, as well as ships fitted
for warfare to protect their ports from foreign invasion, or from the
attacks of pirates.

Many English nautical terms at present in use are clearly of Phoenician
origin.  Davit, for instance, is evidently derived from the Arabic word
_Davit_, a crooked piece of wood, similar in shape to that by which the
boats of a vessel are hoisted out of the water and hung up at her sides.
The word Caboose was the name given by the Phoenicians to the temple
dedicated to the god of fire, whom they worshipped, built on the decks
of their vessels; when a purer faith was introduced, it being found
convenient to cook dinners in the no longer sacred _Caboose_, the name
being retained, Blackie the cook took the place of the officiating
priest.  Caboose is at the present day the name of the kitchen-house on
the deck of a merchant-vessel.  Many other terms even now used by
seafaring people are derived directly or indirectly from the same
far-distant origin, as are several of the customs observed at the
present day.  I may mention some of them by-and-by.


The ancient Greeks and other Eastern nations had ships of considerable
size many hundred years before the Christian era.  The earliest mythical
stories describe long voyages performed by vessels of far more
complicated structure than the simple canoe.  The ships engaged in the
Trojan war each carried a hundred and twenty warriors, which shows that
at the period referred to they could not have been of very small
dimensions.  Although they might have been open, they had masts and
sails, and were propelled by rowers sitting on benches, while the oars
were fastened to the sides of the ship with leathern thongs.  Some were
painted black, others red.  When they arrived at their destination, the
bows were drawn up on shore; or when on a voyage, they at night anchored
by the stern, with cables secured to large stones.  At an early period
they had round bottoms and sharp prows.  We hear of ships with three
ranks of rowers, called triremes, B.C. 700, and long before that time
biremes, or ships with two ranks of oars, had been introduced.  In the
time of Cyrus, long sharp-keeled war-ships were used, having fifty
rowers, who sat in one row, twenty-five on each side of the ship.  About
B.C. 400, the practice of entirely decking over ships was introduced;
Themistocles induced the Athenians to build a fleet of two hundred sail,
and to pass a decree that every year twenty new triremes should be
built.  The Greeks even at that period, however, seldom ventured out
into the open sea, steering in the daytime by headlands or islands, and
at night by the rising and setting of different stars.

The Greeks possessed ships of war and merchant-vessels.  That a
war-galley was of large size may be inferred from the fact that she
carried two hundred seamen, besides on some occasions thirty Epibatoe--
literally, marines, trained to fight at sea.  These war-vessels moved
with wonderful rapidity, darting here and there with the speed of a
modern steam-vessel.  The ordinary war-ships were triremes, or had three
banks of oars.  The merchant-vessels or transports were much more bulky,
had round bottoms, and although rowers were employed on board, yet they
were propelled chiefly by their sails.  After the time of Alexander,
vessels with four, five, and even more ranks of rowers became general,
and ships are described with twelve and even thirty ranks of rowers and
upwards--but they were found of no practical use, as the crew on the
upper benches were unable to throw sufficient power into the immensely
long oars which it was necessary to employ.

Fully B.C. 500, the Carthaginians invented the quadremes, and about B.C.
400, Dionysius, first tyrant of Syracuse, whose ambition was to create a
powerful navy, built numerous vessels of the same description, unused
till that time by the Greeks.  The rowers in these ships, with numerous
banks of oars, could not have sat directly one above another, as some
suppose; but the feet of those on the upper tier must have rested on the
bench or thwart on which those immediately below them sat.  Thus the
tiers of oars were probably not more than two feet, if so much, one
above another; and supposing the lowest tier was two feet above the
water, the highest in the quadremes could not have been more than ten
feet, and even then the length of the oar of the upper tier must have
been very great, and it must have required considerable exertion on the
part of the rower to move it.  The most interesting part, however, of an
ancient ship to us at the present day was the beak or rostra.  At first
these beaks were placed only above water, and were formed in the shape
of a short thick-bladed sword, with sharp points, generally three, one
above another, and inclining slightly upwards, so that they might rip
open the planks of the vessels against which they ran.  They were
sometimes formed in the shape of a ram's head fixed to the end of a
beam; and hence in modern days we have adopted the name of rams, which
we give to ships of war built on the same principle.

After a time these beaks were fixed on to the bow of the ship below the
water, and were thus still more dangerous to other ships, when they
could strike an antagonist on the side.  The bow of a ship was generally
ornamented by the head of some animal, such as a wild boar or a wolf, or
some imaginary creature placed above the rostra.  On both sides of the
prow were painted eyes, such as are seen on the bows of boats and
vessels in the Mediterranean at the present day.  The upper part of the
prow was frequently ornamented with a helmet covered with bronze.  The
steersman or pilot was looked upon as the chief in rank among the crew,
and after him there came an officer whose duties were similar to those
of the boatswain, as he had the care of the gear and command over the
rowers.  The stern or puppis, from which we derive the term poop, was
elevated above the other parts of the deck, and here the helmsman had
his seat, sheltered by a shed frequently adorned with an image of the
tutelary deity of the vessel.  Sometimes he had a lantern hanging in
front of him, probably to enable him to see the magic compass, the use
of which was kept secret from the rest of the crew.  A circular shield
or shields also ornamented the stern.  Behind the helmsman was placed a
slight pole on which flew the dog-vane, to show the direction of the
wind.  In the centre of the ship was a raised platform on a level with
the upper part of the bulwarks, on which in battle the soldiers took
their stand to hurl their darts against the enemy.

The quadremes and quinqueremes carried from three to four hundred
rowers, and a ship belonging to Ptolemaeus Philopater is described as
carrying four thousand rowers.  From the surface of the water to the top
of the prow was forty-eight cubits, or seventy-two feet, and from the
water to the top of the stern fifty-three cubits, or nearly eighty feet;
she had thus sufficient room for forty ranks of rowers, and the oars of
the uppermost rank were thirty-eight cubits or fifty-seven feet long,
the handles of which were weighted with lead, so as to balance the outer
part, and thus render the long oars manageable.  The lower parts of the
holes through which the oars passed were covered with leather.  Till the
invention of the rudder, vessels were steered by two large oars, one on
either side of the stern, with very broad blades.  Ships were also
furnished with long poles, by which they could be shoved off the ground.
The triremes were fitted with two masts, and so were even smaller
vessels; the larger had three masts, the largest of which was nearest
the stern.  They were usually of fir; and the head of the lower mast,
which is at present called the top, was in the shape of a drinking cup.
Some of these tops were of bronze; the largest held three men, two in
the next, and one in the smallest; and breast-works ran round them to
defend the occupants from the darts of the enemy.  They were also
furnished with tackles for hoisting up stones and weapons to hurl at the
foe.  Above the main-mast was a top-mast or topgallant-mast, called the
distaff; the yards were hoisted up much as in the present day, and were
secured by parrels or hoops to the mast.  They were fitted with
topping-lifts and braces.  Each mast carried two square sails, and in
after days the Romans introduced triangular sails.  Though they
generally ran before the wind, they were also able to sail on a wind,
though probably not very close-hauled.

Ships were supplied with weather-boards, or broad belts of canvas, to
keep out the sea, and were surrounded, also, by lines of ropes one above
another, to prevent the seamen from being washed overboard.  Sometimes
these breast-works were made of skins or wicker-work, and in bad weather
were raised to a considerable height above the bulwarks.  It is said
that Anacharsis, upwards of 500 B.C., if he did not invent, greatly
improved the form of anchors, which were already made of iron.  The
anchor had generally two flukes or teeth, and was then called bidens;
but sometimes it had only one.  We use the same terms as the ancients,
to cast anchor or weigh anchor, whence the latter term is equivalent to
set sail.  Each ship had several anchors; that in which the Apostle Paul
sailed, we know, had four, and others had eight.  The largest and most
important anchor was denominated "the last hope," hence, when that
failed, arose the expression "the last hope gone."  A buoy was used
fixed to the anchor by a rope, to show the spot where it lay.

The Romans possessed no war fleets till the year B.C. 260, when a fleet
of triremes was built to oppose the Carthaginians.  Many of them having
been sent to the bottom, however, by the quinqueremes of that people,
the Romans built a hundred of the latter-sized ships from the model of a
Carthaginian vessel wrecked on the coast of Italy.  The Romans must have
had very large merchant-vessels to enable them to transport the enormous
monoliths from Egypt which they erected in Rome.  These vast stones,
also, could not have been got on board and brought up the Tiber without
considerable mechanical appliances.

The construction of their ships differed but slightly from that of the
Greek vessels; they had turrets on the decks of their larger men-of-war,
and employed a variety of destructive engines; so that in battle the
soldiers on board fought much as they did when standing on the walls of
a fortress.  Of one thing I am sure, that no correct drawings of ancient
ships have come down to us, if any such were really made; those on
medals, cameos, and such as are painted on walls, are probably as far
removed from the reality as a Thames barge is from a dashing frigate.
They give us, certainly, the different parts of the ship, and from them
we may form a pretty correct idea of what a ship really was like.
Certain it is, however, that ships were built of prodigious size, and if
not equal to a line-of-battle ship of late days, they must have been as
large as, if not larger than, the _Great Harry_, and probably quite as
well able to encounter as she was the boisterous seas.  Long before the
Christian era, ships boldly struck across the Mediterranean, and even
passing through the Pillars of Hercules, coasted along the shores of
Iberia and Gaul, and thence crossed over to Britain, or coasted round
the African continent.

Advanced as the ancients were in architectural knowledge, there is every
reason to suppose that they were equally capable of building ships to
answer all their requirements, either for war or commerce.  They were
probably thus not only of great size, but well built, and were certainly
finished and ornamented in an elegant and even a magnificent manner, far
superior to that of many ages later.  The mistaken notion as to the size
of the ships of the ancients arises from the supposition that because
merchantmen of the present day are smaller than men-of-war, that they
were so formerly--the reverse, however, being the case.  Men-of-war were
generally long, narrow vessels, constructed for speed, to carry only
fighting men, with a small quantity of provisions; whereas merchantmen
were built of considerable beam and depth to stow a large quantity of
cargo.  A Phoenician vessel was able to afford accommodation to 500
emigrants, with provisions for a long voyage, besides her crew, while
her masts were formed of the cedars of Lebanon.


Among the best-known customs of the ocean is the ceremony that takes
place when ships cross the line.  That, however, like many others of
olden days, is getting somewhat into disuse.  Few of those who have
witnessed it, probably, have suspected that its origin dates as far back
as the times of the Phoenicians.  As the ship approaches the imaginary
band which encircles the globe, a gruff voice hails her from alongside,
and demands her name and nation, whence she is from, and whither she is
bound.  These questions being answered, she is ordered to heave to, when
no less a person than old father Neptune himself, with his fair wife
Amphitrite, and their attendant Tritons, climb up over the bows, and
take possession of the fore-part of the deck.  Neptune generally wears a
crown formed out of a tin saucepan, with a flowing beard, a wig of
oakum, and a robe composed of some gay-coloured petticoat-stuff, stored
up for the occasion, or a piece of canvas, with curious devices painted
on it, while he carries in his band a trident, made out of a harpoon or
a boat-hook.  The fair Amphitrite, who is more commonly known on board
as Bill Buntline, the boatswain's mate, is habited, like her lord, in
the gayest of gay attire, with a vast profusion of oakum locks, and bows
of huge proportions, although it must be confessed that she has very
little to boast of in the way of feminine delicacy or personal beauty,
while the Tritons are at all events very odd-looking fish.

The captain, surrounded by his officers, with the passengers behind him,
stands on the poop, and a spirited conversation, not altogether
destitute of humour, generally takes place between him and Neptune--when
the monarch of the main demands that every one on board who has not
before crossed that portion of his watery realm where the ship then
floats, shall be brought before him.  None, whatever their rank, are
excused.  Those who at once consent to pay tribute are allowed to escape
without undergoing any further ceremony, but those luckless wights who
refuse or have not the wherewithal to pay are instantly seized on by the
Tritons, lathered with pitch and grease, shaved with a rusty hoop, and
soused over head and ears in a huge tub, while from all quarters, as
they attempt to escape from the marine monsters, bucketfuls of water are
hove down upon them.  Uproar and apparent confusion ensues; and usually
it requires no little exertion of authority on the part of the captain
and officers to restore order.

We might suspect, from the introduction of the names of Neptune and
Amphitrite, that this curious and somewhat barbarous custom must have a
classical origin.  There can be no doubt that it is derived from those
maritime people of old, the Phoenicians.  Ceremonies, to which those I
have described bear the strongest similarity, were practised by them at
a very remote period, whenever one of their ships passed through the
Straits of Gibraltar.  That talented writer, David Urquhart, in his
"Pillars of Hercules," asserts that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians
possessed a knowledge of the virtues of the loadstone, and used it as a
compass, as did the mariners of the Levant till a late period.

The original compass consisted of a cup full of water, on which floated
a thin circular board, with the needle resting on it; this was placed in
a small shrine or temple in front of the helmsman, with a lantern
probably fixed inside to throw light on the mysterious instrument during
the night.  The most fearful oaths were administered to the initiated
not to divulge the secret.  Every means, also, which craft could devise
or superstition enforce was employed by the Phoenicians to prevent other
people from gaining a knowledge of it, or of the mode by which their
commerce beyond the Straits of Hercules was carried on, or of the
currents, the winds, the tides, the seas, the shores, the people, or the
harbours.  A story is told of a Phoenician vessel running herself on the
rocks to prevent the Romans from finding the passage.  This secrecy was
enforced by the most sanguinary code--death was the penalty of
indiscretion; thus the secret of the compass was preserved from
generation to generation among a few families of seamen unknown to the
rest of the civilised world.  The ceremonies, especially, were kept up,
though in a succession of ages they have undergone gradual alterations.

The lofty shores which form the two sides of the Straits of Gibraltar
were known in ancient days as the Pillars of Hercules.  Here stood the
temple of the god, and hither came the mariners before launching forth
on the more perilous part of their voyage, to pay their vows, and
probably to bind themselves by oaths to conceal the secrets to be
revealed to them.  Perhaps in all cases the temple on shore was not
visited, but, at all events, the oaths were administered to the seamen
on board, ablutions were performed, and sacrifices offered up.  The
introduction of Christianity did not abolish these observances, and
through the ignorance and superstition of the mariners of those seas
they were for century after century maintained, though the motive and
origin were altogether forgotten.

A traveller, who wrote as recently as the seventeenth century, describes
a ceremony which took place on board a ship in which he was sailing,
when passing through the straits.  Just as the two lofty headlands were
in sight on either side of the ship, an old seaman came forward with a
book, and summoning all those whose names he declared not to be
registered in it, made them swear that they in future voyages would
compel their fellow-seamen to perform the same ceremonies in which they
were about to engage.  Behind him appeared a band of veteran seamen
dressed up in a variety of fantastic costumes, with a drum and other
musical instruments.  These forthwith seized on all whose names were not
registered as having before passed through the straits, and dragging
them forward, thrust them into tubs, and soused them thoroughly with
water.  No one was altogether exempt, but those who had before passed
were allowed to escape a like process by the payment of a fine.

These same mariners, when they extended their voyages to the southern
hemisphere, very naturally postponed the ceremony which they were in the
habit of performing on passing the straits, till they crossed the line.
They also, not altogether abandoning classical allusions, changed the
name of their _dramatis personae_.  Hercules, who had no connection with
the ocean, whatever he might have had to do with the Straits of
Gibraltar, had to give place to Neptune, the long-honoured monarch of
the main, and Amphitrite was introduced to keep him company.  We
recognise in the duckings, the sacrificial ablutions, and in the shaving
and fining, the oaths and the penalty.

When the hardy seamen of Great Britain first began to steer their ships
across the line, they were undoubtedly accompanied by pilots and
mariners of the Mediterranean.  These, of course, taught them the
ceremonies they had been in the habit of performing.  The English, as
may be supposed, made various additions and alterations suited to their
rougher habits and ideas, and what at one time probably retained
somewhat of the elegance of its classical origin, became the strange
burlesque it now appears.

Another nautical custom still in vogue is also derived from remote
antiquity.  At the present day, with doubtful propriety, in imitation of
the rite of baptism, we christen a ship, as it is often called, by
breaking a bottle of wine on her bows as she glides off the stocks.  The
custom is of thoroughly heathen origin.  A similar ceremony was
practised by the ancient Greeks when they launched a ship.  We ornament
our vessels with flags; they decked theirs with garlands.  At the moment
the ship was launched forth into the deep the priest of Neptune raised
to his lips a goblet of wine, and after quaffing from it, he poured the
remainder out as a libation to his deity.  The modern Greeks still
perform the ceremony much in the manner of their ancestors.  Clearly,
the custom we have of breaking a bottle of wine is derived from the
libations of the ancients.  In most instances, at the present day, the
ship is named at the moment she is launched by a young lady, who acts
the part of the priest or priestess of old.

Of late years a religious service is usually performed at the launch of
a man-of-war.  The heathen libation is not, however, omitted, and the
whole ceremony presents a curious jumble of ancient and modern forms
suited to the tastes of the day.  Still we are bound heartily to pray
that the gallant sailors who will man the stout ship may be protected
while in the performance of their duty to their country; and, still
more, that they may be brought to a knowledge of the Gospel.

The Greeks invariably gave feminine names to their ships, choosing,
whenever possible, appropriate ones; while the less courteous Romans
bestowed masculine names on theirs.  Though we may not have followed the
Greek rule, we to the present day always look upon a ship as of the
feminine gender.

The mariner's compass, the most important instrument used in navigation,
demands further notice.  The magnet, or loadstone, was known to the
ancient Greeks many centuries before the Christian era.  The legend
runs, that one Magnes a shepherd, feeding his flocks on Mount Ida,
having stretched himself on the ground to sleep, left his crook, the
upper part of which was made of iron, lying against a rock.  On awaking,
and rising to depart, he found, when he attempted to take up his crook,
that the iron adhered to the rock.  Having communicated this
extraordinary fact to some neighbouring philosophers, they called the
rock after the name of the shepherd, Magnes, the magnet.

The Chinese, of still more ancient date, so their traditions affirm,
discovered a mountain rising out of the sea possessing an intensity of
attraction so great that the nails and iron bands were drawn out of
their ships, causing their immediate wreck.  Those sea-arabs whom we
call Phoenicians had, at a very early date, made use of their knowledge
of the property of the loadstone to turn towards the North Pole; though,
like many other discoveries, as I have just mentioned, it was kept a
profound secret among a select few, and concealed from the public by
having an air of religious mystery thrown over it.  Lumps of loadstone
formed into balls were preserved in their temples, and looked upon with
awe, as possessing mystic properties.  With these round stones the point
of a needle was rubbed, as often as it required fresh magnetising.

I have already described the compass used by the Phoenicians, and how,
long after Islamism had gained the ascendency, it was possessed by their
descendants.  At length the secret was divulged, and it came into
general use among the mariners of the Mediterranean in the tenth and
eleventh centuries.  Its original form was unaltered for nearly four
centuries, when, in 1502, Flavio Gioja of Positano, near the town of
Amalfi, on the coast of Calabria, a place celebrated for its maritime
enterprise, improved upon the primitive rude and simple instrument by
suspending the needle on a centre, and enclosing it in a box.  The
advantages of his invention were so great that his instrument was
universally adopted, and hence he gained the credit of being the
inventor of the mariner's compass, of which he was only the improver.

Long before the compass was used at sea, it had been employed by the
Chinese to direct the course of their caravans across the desert.  For
this purpose a figure, placed in a waggon which led the caravan, was so
constructed that the arm and hand moved with perfect freedom, the
magnetic needle being attached to it; the hand, however, pointed to the
south, the negative end being fixed in it.  The Chinese also used a
needle which was freely suspended in the air, attached to a silken
thread, and by this means they were able to determine the amount of the
western variation of the needle.  It is possible that both the Chinese
and Arabs discovered the magnetic powers of the loadstone, although the
latter in their long voyages may have allowed the knowledge they
possessed to have been drawn from them by the astute Chinese; or, _vice
versa_, the Arabs may have obtained the knowledge which the Chinese
already possessed, and kept it secret from the western nations.  We all
remember the wonderful adventures of Sinbad the Sailor, as narrated in
the Arabian Nights--how the ship in which he sailed was attracted by a
magnetic mountain, which finally drew all the iron bolts and nails out
of her.  Now it happens that the author places Sinbad's mountain in the
same part of the world in which the Chinese say their magnetic mountain
exists.  Ptolemy, in his geography, also describes a magnetic mountain
existing in the Chinese Seas.  We may therefore, I think, come to the
conclusion, that the mariner's compass was known to the ancients long
before the Christian era, and that although disused for centuries, the
knowledge was never altogether lost.



We Englishmen undoubtedly derive a large portion of our nautical spirit
from our Saxon ancestors, the first bands of whom came to the shores of
our tight little island under those sea-rovers known as Hengist and
Horsa, invited by the helpless Britons to defend them from the attacks
of the savage Picts and Scots.  The enemies of the gallant heroes I have
named were apt to call them pirates; but as might made right in most
sublunary affairs during those dark and troubled ages of the world's
history, they looked upon the roving commissions they had given
themselves as perfectly honourable and lawful, and felt no small amount
of contempt for the rest of mankind who chose to stay at home at ease by
their firesides, while they were ploughing the ocean in search of
plunder and glory.  I suspect that they had a strong preference for the

After the Saxons had driven the ancient inhabitants of the island out of
the more fertile portions of the country, and had made themselves,
according to their notions, pretty comfortable in their new homes; they,
in a little time, in their turn, were sadly pestered by foreign
invaders.  These were the Danes.  Those hardy sons of the North, still
more wild and fierce than the Saxons, and still less scrupulous in their
proceedings, pleased with the appearance of the country which they had
come over to look at, settled themselves in every nook and corner of Old
England in which they could haul up their ships, and find a resting
place for their feet.  I cannot help feeling a great respect for those
old sea-kings.  They were heathens, and we must judge of them by the
light which they possessed, and not by any standard acknowledged in the
present civilised world.  Bold, enterprising, and sagacious, their own
country confined and barren, they looked on the wide ocean as the only
worthy field for the employment of their energies.  They loved it for
itself, too; they were born on it, or within the sound of its surges;
they lived on it, they fought on it, and it was their wish through life
to die on it, as if only on its boundless expanse their free spirits
could be emancipated from this mortal coil.  This same spirit still
exists and animates the breasts of the officers and men of our navy, of
our vast mercantile marine; and, though mentioned last, not certainly in
a less degree of the owners of the superb yacht fleets which grace the
waters of the Solent, of the Bay of Dublin, of Plymouth Sound, of the
mouth of the Thames, and indeed of every harbour and roadstead round our
shores.  No people, unless animated by such a spirit, would go to sea
simply for the love of a sea-life as do our yachtsmen.  We may depend
upon it that they are the lineal descendants of those old sea-rovers,
somewhat more civilised and polished certainly, differing as much in
that respect, it is to be hoped, from their remote ancestors as do their
trim yachts, which will go nine knots or more within four and a-half
points of the wind, from the tubbish-looking sturdy craft of the Danes,
which had no idea of sailing any way except dead before the gale.

There was something barbarously grand in the notion of the old Norse
kings which induced them, when worn out with age and fatigue, to sail
forth into mid-ocean, and then, lighting their own funeral pile, to
consume themselves and the stout ship they loved so well in one
conflagration.  Seriously, however, we must not forget that they were
influenced by a very terrible and dark superstition, and be thankful
that we live in an age when the bright beams of Christianity have
dispelled such gross errors from this part of the globe.  I cannot help
fancying that the late Lord Yarborough, that chief of true yachtsmen,
had somewhat the same feeling I have been describing, refined and
civilised of course, when, his vessel, the _Kestrel_, being in Malta
harbour, he found death approaching, and ordered her to be got under
weigh, to stand out to sea, that he might breathe out his spirit
surrounded by that element on which he had so long made his home, and in
which he so truly delighted.

The tribes, now so closely united, which make up the British race, were
the most maritime people of their time, and it is not, therefore,
surprising that we should now possess strong nautical propensities.  The
Normans, it must be remembered also, who afterwards conquered England,
were descended from the same bold sea-rovers, though, having paid sundry
visits to Paris, where they learned to write poetry, to sing, and to
dance, with many other accomplishments, they had wonderfully improved in
civilisation since the days of their ancestors, of whom I have been
speaking.  Still the same enterprising spirit animated their bosoms,
afterwards to shine forth with splendour, when their descendants became
the leaders of numberless exploring expeditions to all parts of the
world, and of the victorious fleets of Old England.

There is no doubt, as I have shown, that the English possessed trading
vessels, if not also ships, built exclusively for war, from a very early

The first regular war-fleet, however, which we hear of was one built by
our great King Alfred, to protect his dominions from the attacks of the

He designed a ship from the model of those used by the Greeks, Romans,
and Carthaginians, similar to the Maltese galley employed down to a very
recent date in the Mediterranean.  His ships are said to have been twice
as large as any vessels of war used by other nations at that period.
They were large galleys, propelled by sixty oars, with a deck above that
part where the rowers sat.  On the deck stood the fighting men and
mariners, who managed the sails, for they had masts and sails as well as
oars.  There were besides probably small towers or breast-works at the
stern and bow to contribute to their means of attack and defence.  These
ships were built of well-seasoned materials, commanded by experienced
officers, whom the king had collected from all quarters, and manned by
expert seamen.  The commanders were ordered to go forth in quest of the
Danes, to attack wherever they encountered them, and to give no quarter;
orders which were strictly obeyed, and which for the time were most
efficacious in clearing the coast of pirates.  In consequence of the
ease with which the ships were moved through the water, and from their
being always able to keep the weather-gauge, as likewise from the
strange appearance which they presented to their enemies, Alfred's
commanders were not afraid of attacking twice or thrice their own number
of the enemy, and invariably came off victorious.  Indeed they had
nearly the same advantage over the Danes which a steamer at the present
day has over a fleet of Chinese junks.  Alfred, it is said, caused
surveys to be made of the coasts of Norway and Lapland, and sent out
ships to the polar regions in search of whales.

I have met with an old writer, who describes a far more remarkable
achievement than any of these.  He was a monk, of course, and his
knowledge of geography we may suspect was rather limited, when he tells
us that in the reign of Alfred a voyage was performed to the Indies by
the way of the north-east--that is to say, round the north of Asia--
under the command of a certain monk, Swithelm, who, as his reward, was
made Bishop of Sherburn.  The mission was undertaken to aid the
Christians of a place called Saint Thomas, on the continent of India,
and we are assured that the curiosities which were brought back, and are
fully described, are exactly like the productions found in India, when
it became more fully known.  The expedition, if it ever took place, must
have proceeded down the African coast and round the Cape of Good Hope.
If so, the seamen of Britain, with a monk as their commander, succeeded
in an enterprise which, having been totally forgotten, immortalised
Bartholomew Diaz as the discoverer of the Stormy Cape full six centuries
afterwards.  We must not place more faith in the narrative than it
deserves, but one thing is certain, that if any long or perilous voyages
were performed, the prints of ships pretending to be those of the days
of King Alfred found on tapestries, old illustrated histories and other
works are not slightly incorrect.  When a boy, I used very strongly to
suspect that if a ship had ever been built after the model of the prints
exhibited in the History of England, she would either, as sailors say,
have turned the turtle directly she was launched, or have gone boxing
about the compass beyond the control of those on board her; but as to
standing up to a breeze, or going ahead, I saw that that was impossible.
I have since discovered, with no little satisfaction, when examining
into the subject, that the verbal descriptions of the ships of those
days give a very different idea to that which the prints and tapestry
work do, which so offended my nautical instincts.

Large substantial vessels, we may depend on it, existed in those days,
and though encumbered with much top hamper, and rigged only with square
sails, they did not carry the high towers nor the absurdly cut sails
which they are represented to have done in all the illustrated histories
I have seen.  The celebrated galleys of King Alfred are described by an
old writer as very long, narrow, and deep vessels, heavily ballasted on
account of the high deck on which the soldiers and seamen stood above
the heads of the rowers.  Of these rowers, there were four to work each
oar, and as there were thirty-eight oars on a side, there must have been
upwards of three hundred rowers to each vessel.  Whether these vessels
had more than one mast is uncertain.  From their want of beam they would
have run much risk of turning over had they attempted to sail except
directly before the wind.  They moved with great rapidity; and in an
engagement off the Isle of Wight, they ran down the Danish vessels in
succession till the whole fleet of the enemy was either sunk, driven on
shore, or put to flight.

The navy of England still further increased during the reign of Alfred's
immediate successors, till, in the time of King Edgar (A.D. 957), it had
reached the number of three thousand six hundred ships at least, "with
which," as say his chroniclers, "he vindicated the right claimed in all
ages by the sovereigns of this island to the dominion of the seas
(meaning the seas surrounding England), and acquired to himself the
great title of _The Protector of Commerce_."

This navy was divided into three fleets, each of twelve hundred sail,
which he kept in constant readiness for service, one on the eastern
coast, another on the western, and a third on the northern coasts of the
kingdom, to defend them against the depredations of the Danish and
Norman pirates, and to secure the navigation of the adjacent seas;
which, that he might the more effectually do, he, every year after the
festival of Easter, went on board the fleet on the eastern coast, and
sailing westward with it scoured the channel of pirates; and having
looked into all the ports, bays, and creeks between the Thames' mouth
and Land's End, quitted this fleet and sent it back, and going on board
the western fleet did the like in those parts, as also on the coasts of
England, Scotland, and Ireland, and among the Hebrides or Western
Islands, where being met by the northern fleet, he went on board the
same, and came round to the Thames' mouth.  Thus encompassing all his
dominions, and providing for the security of their coasts, he rendered
an invasion impracticable, and kept his sailors in continual exercise.
This he did for the whole sixteen years of his reign.

May our rulers ever possess the wisdom of Alfred, the greatest of
England's kings, and by the same means preserve inviolate the shores of
our native land.

It would have been well for Old England had all its monarchs imitated
the excellent example set by King Edgar, and had never allowed any
decrease in the naval establishment.  Let the present generation do as
he did, with the modifications changed times and circumstances have
introduced, and then, although we may not be able correctly to troll
forth "_Hearts of oak_ are our ships," we may sing truly--

  "Iron coats wear our ships,
  Lion hearts have our men;
  We always are ready;
  Then steady, boys, steady;
  We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again."

King Edgar appears to have been the last great naval sovereign of the
Saxon race.  When his son Ethelred, by the murder of his brother Edward,
came to the throne, his navy was so neglected that the Danes made
incursions with impunity on every part of the coasts of England, and in
the year A.D. 991, they extorted no less a sum than 10,000 pounds from
that wicked monarch, or rather from his unfortunate subjects (who,
depend upon it, had to pay the piper), as the price of their forbearance
in refraining from levying a further amount of plunder.

This circumstance might have served as a strong hint to the English of
those times to keep up the strength of their navy, but it does not
appear to have had any such effect; and even that wise monarch, Canute
the Great, had only thirty-two ships afloat.  We find, however, that
when Harold, son of Earl Godwin, was striving to maintain his claim to
the crown of England (A.D. 1066), he fitted out a numerous fleet, with
which he was able to defeat his rivals.  Now, as we are elsewhere told
that one of these rivals alone had a navy of three hundred sail, his
must have been of considerable magnitude.  After his death, at the
battle of Hastings, his sons and several of his chief nobility escaped
in the remnant of their fleet to the coasts of Norway, and gave no
little annoyance to the Norman Conqueror, William.

It must be remembered that the Duke of Normandy, as he was then styled,
had, to bring over his army, nine hundred transports; but he burnt them
when he landed, to show his own followers, as well as the Saxons, that
he had come to die or to conquer.

Such is a very brief account of the navy of England up to the time of
the Norman Conquest.

It is more easy to describe what the ships of those days were not like
than to give an exact description of them.  Certainly the ships
represented on tapestry, on seals, or on coins are very unlike any piece
of naval architecture which ever had existence.  Every seaman knows how
impossible it is for an ordinary landsman to draw anything like a
faithful representation of a ship, however picturesque a production the
thing might appear to him.  We are bound, therefore, to look with grave
suspicion on the performances of the draughtsmen of those early days;
who had but a poor idea of drawing the objects they had constantly
before their eyes.

Our artist has given a fair representation, I suspect, of what a ship
was in those early days.  She probably had another mast aft, and some
more head sail of a square shape.  What are called fore and aft sails
were not generally used till comparatively modern times.  She looks as
if she really was fitted to cross the channel, to carry a number of men,
and even to contend with heavy seas.  The tall masts, heavy rigging, and
large tops, on which a number of men could stand and fight, had not then
been employed on these northern seas.

I have hitherto spoken only of the war-ships of those early days.  There
were, however, merchant-ships which traded to far-distant shores.  They
were probably good wholesome craft, of somewhat tub-like form, of about
the size of a vessel of the present day of one hundred to one hundred
and fifty tons, rigged with two or three big sails, with one bank of
oars, and manned by a hardy and numerous crew, who patiently waited for
the coming of a fair wind before they ventured to make sail; and who,
though generally addicted to hugging the shore, yet at times ventured to
stand out into the boundless ocean, guided alone by the stars.  The
mercantile marine was encouraged in every way by the wiser sovereigns of
the Saxon race, as the nursery of those stout seamen who would prove the
best bulwarks of their country against foreign invasion.

We now come to a fresh epoch in the history of Old England; but as no
writer of those days has thought fit to enlighten us as to naval
affairs, our knowledge of them is meagre and unsatisfactory.

Literature, in that iron age, was chiefly confined to monastic cells; we
hear of bishops becoming warriors, and leading their armies to battle on
the field, and it is recorded that there were other monks besides
Swithelm who took to the profession.  Probably some sailors, after
growing weary of cutting throats on the high seas, and other acts of
piracy, assumed the easy and dignified position of monks, and endowed
their monasteries with their wealth; but then it may be questioned
whether they were likely to have been able to read, much less to write.

William of Normandy had, for some time, too much to do on shore in
keeping his new subjects in order, to attend to affairs afloat; but he
at length was compelled to build and fit out a fleet to defend his
kingdom from the attacks of the Danes, instigated by the sons and
followers of Harold.  He, after much consideration, hit upon a new plan
for raising a fleet, and it is a point of history worthy of
recollection.  He exempted five of the principal ports of the kingdom
from all taxes, impositions, or burdens, on condition that each should
fit out, man, and support a certain number of vessels for a certain
period.  They were Dover, Romney, Sandwich, Hastings, and Rye, and were
thence called the Cinque Ports.

Though others were afterwards added, the name has ever since been
retained.  It appears by Doomsday Book that Dover, Romney, and Sandwich,
severally, were to provide _twenty_ vessels each, with _twenty-one_ men,
provisioned for _fifteen_ days at their own charge.  After that time the
crews were to be supported by the Crown.

Another document states that, besides the twenty men, there is to be a
master of the mariners, who is to receive sixpence a-day, a constable,
who is to receive a like sum, and each mariner threepence a-day.  These
five ports, with other smaller ones attached to them, provided in all 57
ships, 1187 men, and 57 boys, one boy being on board each ship.  These
boys were called gromets.  A gromet is now the name given to a ring of
rope used sometimes to slide up and down the mast, and I conclude,
therefore, that the duty of these boys was to swarm up the mast, and set
and furl the lighter sails.

In the reign of King John (A.D. 1217), Herbert of Burgo, the captain of
Dover, hearing of an invasion intended by Lewis the Elder, son of the
King of France, in favour of the discontented barons, assembled in the
king's name forty tall ships from the Cinque Ports, and took, sunk, and
discomfited eighty sail of Frenchmen in a gallant engagement on the high
seas.  These ports did great service under Henry the Third and Edward
the First.  Among other brave deeds, they fitted out one hundred sail,
and encountered two hundred sail of Frenchmen with such success, that
they effectually ruined the navy of France.  Many years happily passed
before that country recovered the loss of her men and ships.  I will
give a fuller account of this action further on.  Numberless are the
tales of a like description to be told.

Besides the twenty-three mariners which these warships of the Cinque
Ports carried, there were on board a considerable number of fighting
men, knights, and their retainers, armed with bucklers, spears, and bows
and arrows.  They also used slings and catapults, and perhaps
stink-pots, like those employed by the Chinese at the present day, as
well as other ancient engines of warfare.  That ships of war were
capable of holding a considerable number of men, we learn from the
well-known account of the death of the brave young Prince William, son
of Henry the First.  When crossing the channel from Normandy, in an
attempt to make his ship get ahead of that of his father, he kept too
close in with the shore, and consequently ran on a rock called the
Shatteras.  He might have been saved; but hearing that his sister, the
Countess of Perche, still remained on board, he ordered the boat in
which he was escaping to put back to rescue her.  On arriving alongside,
so large a number of people jumped into the boat, that she was swamped,
and all were lost.  On this occasion two hundred people perished, only
one, the ship's butcher, escaping to the shore, and through him the sad
tidings were known.  Now, if we turn to any old illustrated History of
England, we shall find, probably, a print professing to describe this
very event.  Yet, on examining it, we shall see that the vessel is not
large enough to carry twenty people, much less two hundred.  The artists
either made their sketches from river barges, or row-boats, or drew a
ship from one they saw at a distance, and having altered and adorned her
to suit their own fancies afterwards, put a crew on board, utterly
forgetful of the proper proportions between the ship and the men.

In the reign of the son and successor of William the Conqueror, William
the Second, called Rufus, the first great crusade against the Saracen
possessors of the Holy Land was commenced, in the year 1095.  To aid in
that extraordinary expedition, a large fleet was fitted out in England,
and placed under the command of the Earl of Essex.  The ships, as they
had a long voyage to perform, and a number of armed men and provisions
to carry, must have been of considerable size.  As the use of the
mariner's compass was unknown to them, they must have coasted round the
shores of France, Portugal, and Spain, before they entered the

The Atlantic in those days was not likely to be more tranquilly disposed
than it is at present, and thus the mariners must have been expert and
brave, and the ships well found, or they would not have performed the
voyage in safety.  We know that the Crusaders had horses, but they
probably were transported from the neighbouring shores of the
Mediterranean, and any favourite war-steeds which came from England were
conveyed across France.  Neither Henry the First nor Stephen, from A.D.
1100 to 1135, maintained a navy, properly so-called, but on the few
occasions that they required ships, they hired them of the merchants,
called on the Cinque Ports to supply them, or had them built for the

Probably all vessels in those days carried oars, or long sweeps, to
assist them in calms, and in going in and out of harbours; but many
craft of considerable burden depended solely on oars for moving at all.
There appears to be much difference of opinion as to how these oars were
worked when there were several tiers, and I therefore return to the
subject already touched on in the first chapter.  It is most probable
that there was one space, or between decks, devoted entirely to the
rowers.  This space was fitted with a succession of rows of benches one
higher than the other, but not one above another.  That is to say, that
the bench immediately higher than the first was placed in the interval
between it and the one behind it, so that the rowers sitting on this
higher bench had their feet pressed against the bench below them, others
on the tier above having their feet on their bench.  As the tiers were
higher and higher in the vessel's sides, the oars would be longer and
longer, and would project far beyond the lower ones; indeed, they would
become sweeps, and probably the inner part of each would extend
completely across the vessel, and thus the upper oars on the same tier
would not be opposite to each other.  The lowest tier would perhaps be
pulled only by one or two men, and as the tiers rose in height, and
consequently the oars in length, more men would be added.  Then, again,
the lower tiers would have many more oars than the upper, and
consequently even more men would be seated on the lower than on the
upper benches.  This, I think, is the best solution as to the difficulty
regarding the mode in which the rowers of a large galley were placed.
The hold and the deck immediately below the rowers was thus left for
cargo and stores, and perhaps for sleeping-places, while the deck and
forecastle, and aftercastle or poop above them, were free for working
the sails and for righting.  The officers, and perhaps the crew, slept
under the poop and forecastle, and in other buildings on deck, as is the
case on board many vessels at the present day, only the forecastles and
poops were more like those of a Chinese junk than of any modern European

Henry the Second, in the year 1171, collected or built a fleet of four
hundred ships of great size, for the purpose of carrying over his troops
for the conquest of Ireland, which country he annexed to the English
crown.  These ships, as no enemy was to be encountered on the ocean,
were merely transports.

Richard the First, of the Lion Heart, who began to reign 1189, fitted
out a fleet, which, when assembled in the port of Messina in Sicily, in
the year 1189, ready to carry his army to the shores of the Holy Land,
consisted of sixteen capital ships of extraordinary burden (occupying
the position of three-deckers), one hundred and fifty ordinary ships of
war, and fifty-three galleys, besides vessels of less size and tenders.
In his passage to Acre, known also as Ptolemais, he encountered a huge
vessel of the Saracens, laden with ammunition and provisions, bound for
the same place which was then besieged by the Christian army.  She was
called the Dromunda, and her size was enormous.  Though she appeared
like some huge castle floating on the sea, Richard ordered his galleys
to attack her, and as they approached, they were received by showers of
missiles, Greek fire, and other horrible combustibles.  It was no easy
task to board so lofty a ship, but the king urged on his men, some of
whom, jumping overboard, swam to the rudder, to which they secured
ropes, and thus gained the power of steering her.  The most active now
climbed up her sides, but were driven back by the overwhelming number of
her defenders.  The galleys were next ordered to try the effect of their
beaks; retiring to windward, and setting all their sails, as well as
working away with their oars, they bore down on the Dromunda with such
force and velocity, that their iron beaks pierced the sides of the
monstrous ship, which instantly began to sink, and out of fifteen
hundred officers and men who composed her company, the whole, with the
exception of fifty-five, were drowned.  These latter were chiefly
officers, none of the common men being received on board the galleys.

It is very evident that the art of shipbuilding must have made
considerable progress in that part of the world, when a ship of such a
size could be constructed.  The Dromunda could scarcely have been less
in size than a fifty-gun ship in Nelson's day.

We here see the effect produced by rams, much in the way it is proposed
to employ them in modern warfare.  There will, however, be this
difference in a naval battle of the future, that both sides will be
provided with these formidable implements of warfare.  Before Richard
reached Acre a fierce naval engagement had taken place between the
besiegers and the besieged.  The latter came out of port with their
galleys two and two, preserving a similar array in their advance.  The
Crusaders prepared to receive them, moving to a distance, so that they
should not be denied free egress.  The Crusaders then disposed their
ships in a curved line, so that if the enemy attempted to break through
they might be enclosed and defeated.  In the upper tiers the shields
interlaced were placed circularly, and the rowers sat close together,
that those above might have freer scope.  The sea being perfectly calm,
no impediment was offered to the blows of the warriors or the strokes of
the rowers; advancing nearer to each other, the trumpets sounded on both
sides, and mingled their dread clangour.  First, they contended with
missiles, but the Crusaders more earnestly plied their oars, and pierced
the enemy's ships with the beaks of their own.  Soon the battle became
general; the oars became entangled, and the combatants fought hand to

There was one English galley which, through the rashness of the crew,
got close alongside an enemy, who set her in flames with their Greek
fire.  The Saracens on this rushing in at all parts, the rowers leaped
into the sea, but a few soldiers remained through desperation.  Those
few overcame the many, and retook their half-burned ship.  The weapons
used were swords, axes lances, arrows, and other missiles, as well as
engines for casting large stones; and both Saracens and Christians
employed that burning oil commonly called the Greek fire, which is said
to consume both flint and iron.  It was the invention of the seventh
century, and was long used with terrific effect by the Greeks, who
called it the liquid fire.  It is supposed to have been composed of
naphtha, pitch, and sulphur, with other ingredients.  It was propelled
in a fluid state through brazen tubes from the prows of vessels and from
fortifications, with as much facility as water is now thrown from the
fire-engine; igniting the moment it was exposed to the air, when it
became a continuous stream of fire, carrying with it torture and
destruction.  Water increased its power, and it could only be
extinguished by vinegar or sand; while, in addition to its other
horrors, it emitted a stifling smoke, loud noise, and disgusting stench.
Tow dipped in it was fastened to the heads of arrows, which thus became
carriers of unquenchable flame.  It was kept in jars or large bottles.
It was probably introduced into England before the time of Richard the
First, for in 1195 a payment was made by the king for carrying Greek
fire and other implements from London to Nottingham.

Fire-ships were, indeed, of far earlier date than the days of Richard
the First.  We find them in use among the Tyrians in the time of
Alexander the Great.  It is related that at the siege of Tyre, when a
mole was being constructed to join that city to the continent, the
inhabitants, having loaded a large ship heavily by the stern with sand
and stones, for the purpose of raising her head out of the water, and
having filled her with all sorts of combustible matter, they drove her
violently with sails and oars against the mole, when they set fire to
her, the seamen escaping in their boats.  The mole being in a great
measure built of wood, with wooden towers on it, was by this device
utterly destroyed.  Thus we see that the Tyrians invented and
successfully employed fire-ships before the Christian era.  We are apt
to consider many other discoveries modern which were known to the
ancients.  For instance, an Italian author, some three centuries ago,
describes a ship weighed in his time out of the lake of Riccia, where it
had lain sunk and neglected for above thirteen hundred years.  It was
supposed to have belonged to Trajan.

He observed, he says, "that the pine and cypress of which it was built
had lasted most remarkably.  On the outside it was built with double
planks, daubed over with Greek pitch, caulked with linen rags, and over
all a sheet of lead, fastened on with little copper nails."

Here we have caulking and sheathing together known in the first century
of the Christian era; for, of course, the sheet of lead nailed over the
outside with copper nails was sheathing, and that in great perfection,
the copper nails being used instead of iron, which, when once rusted in
the water by the working of the ship, soon lose their hold, and drop

Captain Saris, in a voyage to Japan in the year 1613, describes a junk
of from eight to ten hundred tons burden, sheathed all over with iron.
As in the days of the Plantagenets the country had not the advantage of
possessing a Board of Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, nor, indeed,
any office in which the records of the ships built, altered, rebuilt, or
pulled to pieces were kept, or, indeed, any naval records whatever, we
are without the means of ascertaining what special improvements were
introduced either in shipbuilding or in the fitting or manning of ships
during each particular reign.  Indeed, for several centuries very slow
progress appears to have been made in that art, which ultimately tended
to raise England to the prosperous state she has so long enjoyed.



William Rufus, in 1087, had scarcely a vessel which deserved the name of
a ship of war.  The trade of the country, however, was carried on by
small craft, of which there were great numbers; there remained also some
of the transports of former years, but William when expecting the
invasion of his kingdom by his brother Robert, found to his sorrow that
he possessed no ships of sufficient size to compete with those of the
Normans.  Being unwilling to weaken his land forces by sending them on
board such ships as he possessed, he engaged all the large
trading-vessels of the country, and invited mariners to embark in the
transports.  He gave commissions, also, to all the traders to sink,
burn, and destroy every Norman vessel they could meet with, and offered
considerable rewards for every successful action.  Besides this, he
published proclamations inviting all private persons to fit out vessels
on their own account, encouraging them with the promise of similar
rewards.  Numbers of traders accepted the commission, and the sea
swarmed with privateers.  They were of small size, but were manned by
bold seamen, who encouraged one another by their numbers.  Robert, who
was aware that the English had no fleet, not expecting any resistance at
sea, thought only of loading his transports with as many men as they
could carry.  His ships were therefore ill-prepared for action, being
overloaded with men, and he little expected any opposition from the
small ships of the English.

The latter, meantime, obtained exact intelligence of the movements of
the Normans, while they kept secret their own forces and plans.  The
Normans at length sailed, and had no time to laugh at the smallness of
the English ships before they began to quake at their numbers.  The
latter bore down upon them like a pack of hounds on a stag, and,
encouraged by the promised rewards, fought with the greatest fury.  In
vain the Normans attempted to fly; they were overtaken and overpowered
by the multitude of their assailants.  The number that perished by the
sword and drowning was astonishing; those who attempted to escape were
overtaken, and shared the fate of the others; and but few got back to
Normandy with the news of their defeat.  Never was a sea-fight in which
personal courage was more nobly exhibited; never a more complete
victory, nor ever, apparently, slighter means of obtaining it.

The Normans called the English pirates, but they were properly
privateers, and the original armament to which they were united, though
a poor one, was a royal force.  William punctually paid the promised

People were generally too pleasantly employed in those mediaeval days in
knocking their neighbours on the head, or in storming and demolishing
their castles, and other similar pastimes on shore, to attend to any
subject so unromantic as shipbuilding or navigation.

Still the monarchs of the Plantagenet race had ships of their own; but
their chief notion of keeping up a navy was by laying taxes on the
sea-ports, on commerce, and on the fisheries, thus crippling the surest
means by which a fleet could be maintained.  The chief naval events of
the intermediate reigns have been described in the preceding chapter.

John, we are told, had a naval establishment of ships and officers, with
certain boards for its government.  He had not many vessels, however, as
he chiefly depended on the Cinque Ports to furnish him with ships, while
he laid an embargo on merchant-vessels in case of necessity; and turned
them into ships of war.  He must have had a great notion, however, of
keeping up the dignity of England on the ocean, as he passed an
ordinance that all ships should lower their topsails to the English
flag; a custom which was preserved for many centuries.  Foreigners,
however, did not always show themselves willing to conform to the
custom, and it was more than once the cause of quarrels between England
and other nations.  Still, even at the present day, English men-of-war
do not salute foreign ships in that or any other way, unless the latter
pay the compliment to them first, or at the same time.

Philip Augustus of France having attacked his ally, the Earl of
Flanders, the king fitted out a numerous fleet, which he placed under
the command of the Earl of Salisbury, giving him directions to destroy
rather than to capture any of the enemy's ships.  The Earl of Salisbury
observed his instructions, and followed the movements of the enemy,
waiting for an opportunity to bear down upon them.  The French ships,
amounting to more than nine hundred sail, moved slowly over the sea, he
watching them vigilantly, and bearing the reproaches of his officers,
who thought him deficient in courage.  On the third day a slight storm
having thrown the French fleet into confusion, the earl bore down upon
them.  The winds had so terrified the French that they were in no
condition to stand before a furious enemy.  The English, who were far
better sailors, were in high courage, and so furiously assaulted the
French ships that in a short time upwards of a hundred were sunk, many
more running on shore, while scarcely forty got back to the ports of

Another important action, before-mentioned, occurred in this reign.
Prince Louis, afterwards Louis the Eighth, to whose father Pope Innocent
had made a liberal present of England without consulting its
inhabitants, had set sail from Calais at the head of a large army,
convoyed by eighty large ships of war.  Hubert de Burgo, with a great
baron, Philip D'Albiney, as his lieutenant, assembled all the ships they
could from the Cinque Ports, though the whole did not amount to more
than half that of the French fleet.  The latter was under the command of
Eustace the monk, who had formerly been in the pay of John, but had
lately transferred his services to Louis.  The English ships were armed
with strong beaks, like those of the Roman galleys, and their mode of
attack consisted, as of yore, in charging the vessels of the enemy, and
endeavouring to pierce their sides with their iron rams.  They were
impelled chiefly by oars, but also carried sails, to enable them to bear
down with greater speed on the enemy; hence the importance of obtaining
the weather-gage.  The two fleets came in sight of each other in the
Straits of Dover, on the 24th of August, 1217.  The English admirals
having by their skilful manoeuvres obtained the weather-gage, bore down
on the enemy with irresistible force.  In addition to other means of
offence, they had brought on board a number of barrels of unslaked lime;
on nearing the enemy they poured water on the lime, so as to slake the
whole mass, and the smoke thus created being borne by the wind into the
faces of the French, prevented them from seeing the operations of the
foe till it was too late to avoid them.  The English boarded, their
first endeavour being to cut away the rigging and halliards of the
French ships, when the masts and sails went over the side.  Most of the
French knights, preferring death to imprisonment, leaped overboard.
Throwing their grapnels on board, the English made a furious onslaught
on the enemy, the crossbow-men and archers, under Sir Philip D'Albiney,
discharging their bows and arrows, did immense execution.  Out of the
whole fleet, fifteen only escaped.  De Burgo's great aim, however, was
to obtain possession of the traitor Eustace, and diligent search being
made, the quondam ecclesiastic was found in the hold of one of the
captured vessels, when he was immediately killed.  The French fleet was
put to flight, the crews of those which escaped landed on the Kentish
coast.  The victory prevented Louis from obtaining further
reinforcements from France, and showed the English barons, who had
hitherto adhered to his cause, that it would be hopeless to attempt the
subjugation of England.  They, therefore, at once made their peace with
the king, and Louis was glad to get off by renouncing all claim to the
English crown.  We now come to the long reign of Henry the Third, A.D.
1216.  Frequent expeditions were fitted out on his demand by the Cinque
Ports, and by other maritime towns, while merchant-vessels were
occasionally pressed into his service to carry him and his troops over
to France.  The king himself also possessed a fleet of some importance,
one of his ships carrying, besides the commander and officers and the
regular fighting men, fully thirty mariners.  Many merchant-vessels of
the present day of eight or nine hundred tons, do not carry a larger
crew.  In those days we read that a number of piratical vessels, both
British and of other nations, scoured the ocean, and committed great
depredations both along the coast and on the peaceable merchantmen who
sailed up and down it.

The great object of the commander of a fleet in those days was to gain
the weather-gage, then to bear down under all sail in order to strike
the broadsides of the enemy's ships; when the one generally attempted to
board the other, if not to throw stink-pots into their antagonists'
vessels, or what were called fire-works, a sort of hand grenades; and
sometimes slaked lime to blind the foe with the vapour.  With this
object in view the admiral manoeuvred his fleet for hours together,
rowing and sailing.  As guns, when they first came into use, carried no
great distance, they were not fired till ships got close together.
Ships in action very frequently caught fire and blew up, and sometimes
locked in a deadly embrace, were destroyed together.  Trumpeters had an
important part to play, not only to make signals, but to create as much
noise as possible.  The good ship called the _Matthew Gonson_, of the
burden of three hundred tons, whereof was owner old Master William
Gonson, paymaster of the king's navy, fitted out at this time for a
voyage to the islands of Candia and Chio to bring back wine and other
produce, besides the hundred men of her company, had six gunners and
four trumpeters.  Probably men-of-war had many more such musicians.

Edward the First, A.D. 1272, ordained various laws and ordinances for
the government of his navy, which was now, though still furnished
chiefly by the maritime ports, better organised than hitherto.  He
claimed, also, the right of England to the sovereignty of the narrow
seas, asserting that from time immemorial it had been undisputed.  About
the year 1290, the pennant used at the present day by all ships
commissioned by officers of the Royal Navy was first adopted.

In the reign of Edward the Second no important maritime event occurred,
though squadrons were occasionally sent away on various services.

It is only by examining carefully into the details given by historians
of the naval combats which took place in those ages, that we can hope to
form a correct guess as to the size and construction of a ship, and the
method of manoeuvring her.  We are now coming to a very important epoch
in naval matters, the reign of Edward the Third. 1327, when the
mariner's compass was discovered, or rather became known in Europe, and
cannon were first introduced on board ships.

Edward gained the title of "The King of the Sea," and raised the naval
glory of England to a higher pitch than it had ever before attained by
his many victorious combats on the ocean.  The greatest naval engagement
which occurred during the middle ages was that known as the battle of
Sluys, when Philip the Sixth sat on the throne of France.  The English
fleet consisted of only 260 ships fit for warfare.  The French, whose
fleet amounted to no less than 400 sail, lay securely, as they thought,
in the harbour of Sluys.  Edward embarked on board the cog _Thomas_,
commanded by Richard Fyall, and attended by several noblemen.  A cog was
a craft larger than those usually designated ships--the cog _John_,
which is spoken of, had a crew of eighty-two men, and probably she
carried besides a considerable number of knights and soldiers.  Many
ships of the English fleet must have been of small size.  Froissart says
that the French fleet consisted of 140 large ships, besides hanquebos
with 35,000 men on board, Normans, Picards, and Genoese.  The masts of
so numerous an assemblage of vessels, as they were seen in the harbour
of Sluys, resembled rather a forest than a fleet.  Of these ships,
nineteen were remarkable for their enormous size.  Besides other
implements of warfare, quantities of large stones were stored in the
tops and also in small boats hoisted to the mast-heads, to be hurled on
the assailants.  The French had secured their ships together by chains,
to prevent the English from breaking through them.  Among the ships in
the leading rank was the _Christopher_, full of Genoese archers, with
the _Edward, Katherine, Rose_, and other large cogs which had formerly
been captured from the English.

Edward had perfect confidence in the valour and prowess of his seamen
and men-at-arms, and, notwithstanding the superiority of the enemy in
numbers, he resolved to open a passage through them.  Having ordered all
his ships to be in readiness, he placed the strongest in the front, and
filled those which were at each end of the line with archers.  Also
between every two ships of archers he placed one filled with
men-at-arms.  He likewise ordered another line to be formed on the side,
as a body of reserve, and filled those ships also with archers, that
they might be ready to support or relieve any most requiring aid.

The English fleet approaching the haven of Sluys in the manner
described, found the French already lying in order of battle, in three
divisions, waiting for them.  The English having gained the advantage of
the wind and sun by their dexterity and management, the king ordered the
signal for engaging to be given.  The Normans, perceiving the English to
tack as they did to get the wind, thought that they were taking to their
heels, and began to triumph.  But they soon found out their mistake,
and, being able seamen and brave combatants, prepared for the fight.
They began the battle by advancing with the _Great Christopher_, and,
with a vast noise of trumpets and other instruments, attempted to break
the line, to come at the ship in which they supposed the British king to
be.  They were received with a general shout, and during continual
huzzas the English poured such showers of arrows from their long bows
into the enemy's ships as soon covered their decks with dead and wounded
men, and put the whole fleet into general consternation.  The _Great
Christopher_ was taken in the beginning of the battle, and all who were
in her were either killed or made prisoners.  The English, on this,
filled her with archers, and sent her to annoy the Genoese ships, which
formed part of the French fleet.  And now death and destruction appeared
on every side in their most terrible array.  The very air was darkened
with arrows, and the hostile ships rushing together, the men-at-arms
engaged in close fight.

The English, taking advantage of the confusion into which they had put
the French at the beginning of the fight, soon boarded them with the
help of their grappling-irons, and pursuing their good fortune, obtained
a complete victory, though a most bloody one, as their loss amounted to
4000 men killed and wounded.  Great numbers of the French sailors
desperately threw themselves into the sea, and submitted to a certain
death rather than abide the repeated showers of English arrows; what
also might have contributed more to this desperate resolution was that,
on board the ships captured in the heat of battle, no quarter was given.
The engagement lasted from eight in the morning till seven at night.
The loss on the French side was enormous, 230 of their ships being
captured; only about 30 having escaped.  According to the Frenchmen's
account of the battle, they lost two admirals, Bauchet, who was killed
in action, and De Kernel, who was taken prisoner.  King Edward behaved
during the whole action with the most inimitable courage and conduct;
regarding neither danger nor fatigue, he was always present where the
battle raged the hottest.

During the night thirty French ships, endeavouring to escape, were
attacked by the English, and on board of one of them, the _James of
Dieppe_, after she had been engaged the whole night with the Earl of
Huntingdon, 400 dead bodies were found.  Certain old writers remark that
the rostrum or beak used by the Romans could not have existed in the
English ships, nor was the manoeuvre employed by which one ship attempts
to break the oars of another.  From this they conclude that the English
fleet must have consisted of high-sided ships, worked chiefly by sails.
Probably, however, they had oars also.

It is said that nearly 30,000 men were killed in this memorable battle.
So apparently irretrievable was the disaster to the French that none of
King Philip's counsellors had the courage to inform him of what had
occurred.  At length they bethought them of employing the court fool to
communicate the disastrous intelligence.  Accordingly, that dignified
individual took an opportunity of remarking to the king that he
considered the English arrant cowards.

"Why so, Master Wisdom?" asked Philip.

"Why does your Majesty ask? because they had not the courage to leap
into the sea and be drowned as our brave Frenchmen did the other day,
when your Majesty's ships went to the bottom."

In 1350 the warrior king, on board his cog _Thomas_, led his fleet to
attack the Spaniards, who had ventured into the British Channel; he was
accompanied by Edward, the Black Prince, and numerous great personages,
with nearly four hundred knights.  The king, attired in a black velvet
jacket and beaver hat, took post on the bow of his ship, eagerly looking
out for the enemy.  As they did not appear, to beguile the time he
caused his minstrels to play a German dance, and made Sir John Chandos,
who had recently introduced it, to sing with them.  From time to time,
however, he looked aloft at the man stationed in the top of the mast to
announce the approach of the Spaniards.  At length they were seen,
numbering forty large ships, denominated carricks; strong and handsome
were they to behold--each mast was adorned with rich standards and
banners, and their tops filled with soldiers and missiles.  They,
however, it was evident, wished to avoid an action, but the king,
leading his fleet, stood down upon them till he reached a heavy ship,
when, reckless of consequences, he ordered the helmsman to lay her
aboard.  So violent was the blow that the masts of the cog _Thomas_ went
over the side, the men in the top were drowned, and the ship sprang a
dangerous leak.  The Spaniard sheering off, Edward grappled another
enemy; but now the cog _Thomas_ sinking, the king and his crew took
possession of the prize.  In her he pushed into the thickest of the
fight.  The Prince of Wales' ship, also nigh to sinking, had grappled
her huge adversary, when the Earl of Lancaster arriving and shouting,
"Derby to the rescue!" boarded and obtained possession of the Spaniard,
throwing all who resisted into the sea.  Scarcely had the prince and his
followers got on board the prize, when his own ship foundered.  Sir
Robert de Namur having grappled with a huge ship was carried by her out
from among the fleet; the two combatants were rapidly leaving the rest
of the ships astern, when Sir Robert's valet, Hannekin, bravely cutting
the halliards of the principal sail, the English, taking advantage of
the confusion, boarded and drove the Spaniards into the sea.  Thus the
Spanish fleet was completely beaten, and twenty-six large ships

The British seem to have been as prone in those days as at present to
seek for victory by laying the enemy on board and trusting to the
strength of their own arms.  At present, instead of battle-axes and
clubs, or spears, or two-handed swords they have a fondness for their
cutlasses and pistols.  In the days, before Britannia could loudly roar
with her thunder, naval combats were carried on with all the noise and
hubbub the men on either side could create with their voices, as also
with the braying forth of trumpets and beating of gongs and drums, in
the hope of thus striking terror into the hearts of their enemies.  How
great is the contrast between such a naval engagement as has been
described and one at the present day.  In solemn silence the crews
grimly stand at their guns, stripped generally to the waist.  Not a
sound is heard, not a word spoken, except perhaps one hearty cheer, a
response to the captain's brief address.  Slowly and steadily the
hostile fleets approach each other till the signal is given to commence
the deadly strife, and then in a moment, like fierce monsters awakened
from sleep, they send from their cannons' mouths a quick succession of
terrific roars, fire, and smoke, which laugh to scorn all the trumpet
braying and shouting of our ancestors.

After the famous battle of Crescy, King Edward laid siege to Calais with
a fleet of 738 ships, having on board 14,956 mariners, each of whom
received 4 pence per diem.  Of these ships, no more than 25 belonged
actually to the king.  The latter carried about 419 seamen only, which
was not more than 17 seamen to each ship.  Some, however, had 25 seamen,
and others less.  Many of the ships furnished by the maritime ports were
larger than the king's.  The total cost of the war, which lasted one
year and 131 days, was 127,101 pounds, 2 shillings 9 pence, for even in
those romantic days people could not knock each other on the head free
of all charge, it must be remembered.  The mention of that 127,101
pounds 2 shillings 9 pence also shows that their accounts must have been
kept with most praiseworthy exactness.

Only great nations, to whom victory has generally been awarded by the
God of battles, can afford to talk of their defeats.  Though in most
cases successful, Edward's arms met with a severe repulse before
Rochelle, to the relief of which place he had sent forty ships, under
the young Earl of Pembroke.  "They were encountered by a French squadron
of forty sail of capital ships," we are told, "besides thirteen able
frigates, well manned, and commanded by four experienced officers.  The
earl was taken prisoner, and nearly every ship was captured or sunk."
Though employed by France, they were Spaniards, supplied by the King of
Castile.  In addition to the large number of men-at-arms on board the
Spanish ships, whose weapons were crossbows and cannon, large bars of
iron and lead were used.  The Spaniards bore down upon the small English
ships with loud shouts and great noise; the English shouted in return,
but were unable to climb up the lofty sides of the Spaniards.  In the
first day of the battle the Spaniards lost two barges, and the next day
the earl's ship was attacked and captured by four large Spanish ships
full of soldiers, while most of his fleet were either taken or

Our national pride will make us examine narrowly to discover the cause
of this disaster.  In the first place, the earl, though brave, was
inexperienced; then some of those forty French ships were larger than
the forty English ships, and the able frigates were quick rowing
galleys, full of men-at-arms, who must have done much mischief.  The
French on this occasion also made use of balistas and other machines for
throwing bars of iron and great stones, to sink the English ships.  They
had also in another way got ahead of the English, for they had provided
themselves with cannon, which the latter had not as yet got.  This was
the first naval engagement in which such engines of destruction were

History is read by the naval and military man, and indeed by any one, to
very little purpose, unless facts like these are not only carefully
noted, but duly acted on; unless we take warning by the errors and
neglects of our predecessors.  It is not only necessary to be well-armed
in appearance, but to be as well armed in reality, as those are with
whom we may possibly be called to fight.  It is wise not only to adopt
new inventions likely to be of service, but if possible to have them
already in use before they are adopted by our enemies.  The gun of those
days was a thick tube of wood, bound together with iron hoops, and
probably could send a shot of three or four pounds little more than two
or three hundred yards with very uncertain aim.  What a contrast to the
"Woolwich Infant" of the present day, with its shot of several
hundredweight, whizzing for five miles or more through the air, with
almost a certainty of hitting its object at the termination of its


A.D. 1509.

In the early part of the reign of Edward the Third, the French
introduced cannon on board their ships, chiefly in consequence of which
his fleet, under the young Earl of Pembroke, as I have described, was
defeated before Rochelle.  He took care, however, that this should not
again occur, and by the year 1338 he appears to have introduced them on
board most of his ships, and by the end of his reign no ships of war
were without them.  Their employment, of course, effected a great change
in naval warfare, but a far greater revolution was about to take place
in the whole system of navigation, by the introduction of the mariner's
compass.  I have before stated that if not discovered it was at all
events improved by Flavio Gioja, of Amain, in the kingdom of Naples,
about A.D. 1300.  It was soon discovered that the needle does not point,
in all places, truly to the North Pole, but that it varies considerably
in different degrees of longitude, and this is called the variation of
the needle.  It has also another variation, called the declination, or
dip.  The cause of these phenomena is still utterly unknown.  The means
of steering with almost perfect accuracy across the pathless ocean, gave
a confidence to mariners, when they lost sight of land, which they had
never before possessed, and in time induced them to launch forth in
search of new territories in hitherto unexplored regions.  The English
were, however, too much occupied with foreign wars or domestic broils to
attend much to navigation.  We hear of a certain Nicholas of Lynn, a
friar of Oxford, who, A.D. 1360, just sixty years after the use of the
compass became known, sailed in charge of certain ships to visit and
explore all the islands to the north of Europe.  He, it is said,
returned and laid before King Edward the Third an account of his
discoveries in those northern regions, but what they were or what
benefit resulted from them, history does not tell us.  Father Nicholas's
knowledge of navigation was probably somewhat limited and not very
practical, and it is just probable that his voyage was not so extensive
as it was intended to be; but that, having the pen of a ready writer, he
drew on his imagination for a description of the countries he was
supposed to have surveyed.  At all events, we hear of no voyage
undertaken at the sovereign's instigation till nearly two centuries

In the reign of Edward the Third, the Island of Madeira is said to have
been discovered by a certain Lionel Machin, a citizen of London.  The
young citizen had been paying court to a lady, Arabella Darcy, whose
father indignantly refused his suit; and not without reason, if we may
judge of his character by his subsequent conduct.  He collected a band
of rovers and pursued the fair Arabella, who had gone to live in the
neighbourhood of Bristol.  He had fixed his eyes on a ship ready
prepared for sea, the crew of which were on shore.  Securing the lady,
he carried her on board the ship, cut the cables, and made sail to the
southward, without leave of the captain or owners.  He met with due
punishment, for, having made the then unknown island of Madeira, and he
and Arabella having landed, the ship was driven to sea by a gale,
leaving the two alone.  She soon died of starvation, and when his
companions ultimately returned, they found him in a sinking state, and
buried him by the hapless damsel's side.  A Portuguese captain hearing
from the English pirates of the discovery of the island, sailed thither,
and took possession of it in the name of his sovereign, Don John, and
the infant Don Henry.

This account of Machin's adventures is doubted by many, but at all
events it must be said that it is very much in accordance with the style
of doing things in those days.  Richard the Second began to reign A.D.
1377.  Although probably no improvement took place in shipbuilding
during his reign, it is not altogether destitute of nautical exploits.
The maladministration of Government at the latter period of his
grandfather's life, left the people in a discontented state, and this
induced the French to make a descent on the English coast with a fleet
of fifty ships, commanded by the Admiral de Vienne.  They plundered and
burnt Rye in Sussex, levied a contribution of a thousand marks on the
inhabitants of the Isle of Wight, and finished off by burning Plymouth,
Dartmouth, Portsmouth, and Hastings.

They were sufficiently long about these proceedings to enable the Abbot
of Battle to fit out a fleet, with which he met them off Winchelsea, and
completely defeated them.  Their example was, however, followed by a
body of Scotch pirates, who, with a number of ships under a Captain
Mercer, ravaged the east coast of England.  The Government, occupied
with the coronation of the king, paid no attention to these insults.

Indignant at this state of things, a wealthy and truly patriotic citizen
and merchant of London, John Philpot, at his own expense, fitted out a
fleet manned by a thousand men, and set sail in person in quest of the
pirate.  He succeeded in coming up with him, and in bringing him to
action, when he not only completely defeated him, but made him prisoner,
capturing his entire fleet, as well as retaking all his English prizes,
and fifteen richly-laden French and Spanish vessels.  On his return,
instead of being thanked, the gallant Philpot was tried for a
misdemeanour, but so entirely did he succeed in vindicating his
character, and so evident were the services he had rendered to the
public, that he ultimately received the thanks and honours which were
his due.

These circumstances should be borne in mind, for people of the present
day are apt to fancy that the shores of Old England, since the time of
the Danes perhaps, have ever been free from insult and annoyance,
whereas we see that our neighbours across the channel have managed,
whenever they have had the opportunity, without being so very seasick,
to effect a very considerable amount of both one and the other.

A fleet, also, was sent to take possession of Cherbourg, which had been
mortgaged by the King of Navarre to the English.  The expedition was
under the command of Philip and Peter Courtray.  It was, however,
encountered by a far superior Spanish squadron, which the English
attacked with great fury, but Philip Courtray was severely wounded, and
his brother Peter, who was taken prisoner with a number of knights and
gentlemen, was never again heard of, numbers also losing their lives.
While a large fleet under the Duke of Lancaster sailed to retrieve the
loss, and was laying siege to Saint Malo, the French were ravaging the
coasts of Cornwall.  While, also, the Duke of Buckingham was in France,
a fleet of French and Spanish galleys sailed up the Thames as far as
Gravesend, which they plundered and burnt, as well as other places on
the Kentish shore.  Leaving the Thames, they sailed along the west
coast, plundering and burning as they went.  They were, however, met by
a west country fleet, fitted out to attack them, and pursued to the
Irish coast, where many were captured, and their prizes retaken.  Still
a sufficient force escaped to plunder and burn Winchelsea on their

On the accession of Charles the Sixth to the throne of France, he
resolved to put in execution a scheme formed by his father to drive the
English out of France by invading England itself.  For this purpose, he
purchased of various nations a fleet of 1600 sail to carry across an
immense army which he had raised for the purpose.  To defend his
kingdom, Richard raised an army of 100,000 men, horse and foot, and
equipped a fleet, placed under the command of the Earls of Arundel and
Nottingham.  Portsmouth and Plymouth fitted out small fleets of
privateers, which sailed up the Seine, and made many prizes.  Although
there was no general engagement, the French fleet were cut off in
detail, and in consequence of the strenuous efforts made by the English,
the intended invasion was abandoned.

Henry the Fourth began to reign A.D. 1399.  The French, in 1402, sent a
fleet to assist Owen Glendowyr with an army of 12,000 men.  They put
into Milford Haven, and plundered the neighbourhood; but a fleet fitted
out by the Cinque Ports, under Lord Berkley and Harry Percy, arrived
there in time to capture fourteen of them before they had time to make
their escape.

The principal admiral in this reign was Admiral Beaufort.  He was styled
Admiral of all the King's Fleet, both to the north and west; and among
many other offices, he held those of Constable of Dover Castle and
Warden of the Cinque Ports.

The fifth Henry, with whose name the famous victory of Agincourt over
the French will ever be associated, began to reign A.D. 1413.  He was so
much occupied with his wars in France for the greater part of his reign,
that he paid but little attention to naval affairs beyond obtaining the
transports necessary to convey his armies across the channel.  While he
was carrying on his conquests in France, part of the French fleet came
over and blockaded the English ships collected at Portsmouth and
Southampton, and made an attempt to land on the Isle of Wight.  They
were, however, driven back with loss.  Henry had, in the meantime, taken
possession of Harfleur on the Seine.  He was besieged by the French both
by land and sea.  The king accordingly despatched his brother the Duke
of Bedford with a fleet of 500 ships, containing 20,000 men, to the
relief of the town.  They found the enemy's fleet, in which were several
large Genoese carracks, lying before the haven of Harfleur, and pressing
the siege with all possible vigour.  As no relief could be given to the
town without forcing a passage through the French fleet, an engagement
was unavoidable.  The English began the attack, and though the French
maintained the fight for some hours, they gave way at last, and were
totally defeated.  Five hundred vessels were taken or sunk, together
with five of the Genoese carracks, and nearly 20,000 men are reported to
have been killed.  The whole English fleet entered the port in triumph,
and carried a seasonable relief to the town.

Another important naval battle was fought during Henry's reign.  Before
he commenced his great and successful expedition to Normandy, which
province he regained for the crown of England, after it had been lost
for 215 years since the reign of King John, he despatched the Earl of
Huntingdon with a fleet of about 100 sail to scour the seas, that his
transports might cross without molestation.  At this time the Duke of
Genoa had, in consequence of a treaty made with France, supplied the
French government with a squadron, consisting of eight large carracks,
and as many galleys, which had on board 600 crossbow-men, under the
command of John Grimaldi.  These had united with the French fleet,
consisting of 100 tall ships, and commanded by the Bastard of Bourbon.
The Earl of Huntingdon speedily came up with the united fleets of France
and Genoa at the mouth of the Seine.  The engagement was long and
desperate; the Genoese sustained the brunt of the engagement, their
ships being larger and better formed than the French.  One carrack
especially, commanded by Lawrence Foglietta resisted the attacks of
seven English ships.  The English ships, it appears, were furnished with
stages, which could be let down on the decks of the vessels they were
attacking, so as to form a bridge across into them.  Foglietta's ship
was at length disengaged from her enemy by the dexterity of a sailor,
who cut the cordage with which the stage had been secured to her side.
Notwithstanding, however, all the efforts of the Genoese, who are in
this instance their own historians, the French and they were completely
defeated.  John de Franguemont, the son of the vice-admiral, was slain,
the Bastard of Bourbon was taken prisoner, and four, if not six, of the
Genoese carracks fell into the hands of the English.  On board of the
carracks was a sum of money, the wages of the whole fleet for three
months, the English accounts say for six months.  They also assert that
three carracks were taken and three sunk.  This was a great victory, and
it is evident that the enemy were numerically superior to the victors.
This is the only account I have met with in which mention is made of
stages or bridges used by the English to enable them to board the ships
of the enemy.  The carracks spoken of were undoubtedly large and
powerful ships compared to those in general use at that period.  The
Genoese were at that time, and for long continued, the first maritime
people in Europe, and from their shipwrights and seamen, as well as from
the captured ships, the English obtained many of the improvements which
were soon afterwards brought into the art of shipbuilding in England.

Henry died on the 31st of August, 1422, aged thirty-three years, worn
out with the fatigues of his late campaign in Normandy.  He had reigned
nine years, five months, and eleven days.

I have before me a curious history in verse relating to navigation and
nautical affairs, written during the reign of Henry, entitled _De
Politia conservativa Maris_.  The author, in his preface, urges the
importance of England maintaining the dominion of the channel.

  "The true process of English policy,
  Of utterward to keep this regne in
  Of our England, that no man may deny,
  Nor say of sooth but it is one of the best,
  Is this that who seeth south, north, east, and west,
  Cherish merchandise, keep the Admiralty
  That we be masters of the narrow sea.


  Who can here pass without danger and woe?
  What merchandise may forby be ago?
  For needs him must take trewes every foe:
  Flanders, and Spain, and other, trust to me
  Or else hindered all for this narrow sea."

The whole poem is very curious, and full of information respecting the
commerce of England in those days.  It shows us how extensive it had
already become, and how much alive the British merchants were to its
importance, although the monarchs and chief nobles, madly engaged in
civil wars or foreign conquests, did their utmost to destroy it, instead
of endeavouring to protect and improve it.  The more we study history,
the more we shall be convinced that England owes her present greatness
and prosperity to the enlightened energy and perseverance of her
merchants and manufacturers, and the seamen of the mercantile marine.

Without them her brave armies and navies could not have been created or
maintained, nor won the renown which England proudly claims.

"From Spain," says our poetical author, "we import figs, raisins, wine,
dates, liquorice, oil, grains, white pastil soap, wax, iron, wool,
wadmolle, goat-fell, kid-fell, saffron, and quicksilver.

"From Flanders, fine cloth of _Ypre and Curtike_, fine cloth of all
colours, fustian, linen cloth; for which England returns wool and tin.

"From Portugal, always in unity with England, we obtain wine, osey, wax,
grain, figs, raisins, honey, cordmeynes, dates, salt, hides.

"With Bretaigne we deal in salt, wine, crest cloth, and canvas; but this
is only of late years, for the Bretons were noted pirates, and greatly
interrupted the navigation of this kingdom, both by taking the
merchant-ships and plundering and burning the towns on the sea-coast,
till Edward the Third granted letters of reprisal to the inhabitants of
Dartmouth, Plymouth, and Fowey, which obliged the Duke of Bretaigne to
sue for peace and engage for the future good behaviour of his subjects."

Here we have an example of the advantage of allowing people who possess
the sinews of war to take care of themselves.  We may depend on it they
will, in most instances, give a good account of their proceedings.

The same principle may be applied to our larger colonies at the present
day, and we may have little fear that if attacked they will maintain
their independence, and the honour of the British name.

"We trade with Scotland for felts, hides, and wool in the fleece; and
with Prussia, High Germany, and the east countries for beer, bacon,
almond, copper, bow-staves, steel, wax, pelt ware, pitch, tar, peats,
flax, cotton, thread, fustian, canvas, cards, buckram, silver plate,
silver wedges, and metal.

"From Genoa we import most of the articles which we now procure from
Africa, and which come in large ships called carracks, such as cloth of
gold, silk, black pepper, and good gold of _Genne_ (Guinea)."

Our author does not at all approve of the articles which were imported
from Venice and Florence.  They were very similar, in some respects, to
those which now come from France, and without which, most undoubtedly,
we could do very well.

  "The great gallies of Venice and Florence
  Be well laden with things of complacence,
  Allspicery and of grocer's ware,
  With sweet wines, all manner of chaffare;
  Apes and japes, and marmusets tailed,
  Nifles and trifles that little have availed,
  And things with which they featly blear our eye,
  With things not enduring that we buy;
  For much of this chaffare that is wastable,
  Might be forborne for dear and deceivable."

On the death of his father, August, 1422, the unfortunate Henry the
Sixth, when not a year old, was proclaimed King of England and heir of
France, and when eight years of age he was crowned both in London and
Paris.  No improvements in naval affairs were introduced during his
inglorious and disastrous reign.  The chief battle at sea was fought by
a fleet under the command of the famous king-maker, the Earl of Warwick.
In the Straits of Dover he encountered a fleet of Genoese and Lubeck
ships laden with Spanish merchandise, and under the convoy of five
carracks.  Of these he captured six, and sunk or put to flight
twenty-six more, took numerous prisoners, and slew a thousand men, while
his prize-money amounted to 10,000 pounds, an enormous sum in those
days, when the whole revenue of England did not exceed at one time 5000

The Earl of Warwick was soon afterwards, with his fleet, instrumental in
dethroning Henry, and placing Edward of Lancaster on the throne, under
the title of Edward the Fourth.  It was not, however, till the victory
of Tewkesbury placed the crown securely on his brows that Edward was
able to turn his attention to naval affairs.  In the year 1475, having
resolved to make war on France, he collected at Sandwich five hundred
flat-bottomed vessels, in which he purposed to carry his army across the
channel.  He succeeded, indeed, in transporting them to the French
coast, but the King of France suing for peace, and undertaking to pay a
large tribute to England, he returned home.  By similar means he brought
the King of Scotland to submission.  He granted many privileges to
merchants trading to foreign countries, and encouraged commerce by every
means in his power.

It is scarcely necessary to allude to the reign of his son, poor young
Edward the Fifth, who had worn the crown but two months, when it was
grasped by his uncle, Richard the Third, who was crowned at Westminster
on the 5th of July, 1483.

When threatened with an invasion of England by the Earl of Richmond, he
kept a powerful fleet in readiness to defend the shores of his kingdom.
On hearing, however, that the earl had been driven off the coast, he
very unwisely laid up most of his ships, and disbanded the greater part
of his army.  On discovering this, the sagacious earl immediately
embarked all the forces he could collect in a few transports, and,
landing at Milford Haven, gained the battle of Bosworth, which placed
the crown of England on his head, and in which Richard lost his life.

Since old Nicholas of Lynn's expedition to the northern regions of the
world in the reign of Edward the Third up to this period, no voyages of
discovery had been performed under the patronage of Government; and
probably but little, if any, improvement had taken place in marine
architecture.  A new era was about to commence, which was to see the
establishment of England's naval glory.  Other European nations were at
that time far in advance of our country as regarded all affairs
connected with the sea.  It was a period rife with maritime adventure
and enterprise.  Men began to perceive that there were other
achievements more glorious than those which the sword could accomplish,
more calculated, at all events, to bring wealth into their coffers.

It was now that the ardent, bold, and sagacious spirit of Columbus
devised the scheme for reaching India by the west, which resulted in the
discovery of a new world.  In 1485, having fully instructed his brother
Bartholomew in his intended project, he sent him to England in order
that he might apply to Henry, under the belief that the king would at
once embrace his proposals.  Unfortunately, he fell, it is said, into
the hands of pirates, who stripped him of all he had; and on his
reaching England in poverty he was attacked with a fever, which caused a
still further delay.  When he recovered he had to raise funds for his
purpose by making and selling maps, and thus it was not till 1488 that
he was in a condition to present himself before the king.  He was,
however, then well received, and an arrangement was made by which
Christopher Columbus was to proceed on a voyage of discovery under the
flag of England.  Circumstances occurred to prevent the accomplishment
of this plan, and Henry lost the glory he would have gained as the
supporter of one of the greatest and truest heroes who has ever figured
on the page of history.  This honour was reserved for Ferdinand and
Isabella of Spain, who, on the 17th of April, 1492, signed the articles
of agreement with the Genoese navigator at the little town of Santa Fe,
in the kingdom of Grenada.

The squadron prepared for this expedition, which was to prove of such
mighty importance to the world in general, consisted but of three
vessels, carrying in all but 120 men.  I will describe them, as they
give us some idea of the vessels of that period, and which were
considered fit, by the mariners of those days, to contend with the
stormy winds and waves they would in all probability have to encounter
on so long a voyage.  There was, first, the admiral's ship, called by
him the _Santa Maria_, a carrack, or a ship with a deck.  The second was
the _Pinta_, commanded by Martin Alonso Pincon; and the third the
_Minna_ of which Viconte Yannes Pincon was master.  These two were
carvels, which are described as open vessels without decks.  I suspect,
however, that they must have been nearly, if not entirely, decked over--
in fact, that they were what are now called flush-decked vessels, while
probably the carrack was a frigate-built ship, or, at all events, a ship
with a high poop and forecastle.  Supposing the carrack to have earned
sixty men, and the carvels thirty each, how could all the necessary
stores, provisions, and water have been stowed away for those thirty,
unless in a vessel of good size? or how could they have been protected
from wet unless below a deck?

Carvels were strongly built craft, and we still speak of a vessel being
carvel, or ship-built.  I therefore do not hold to the idea that the two
consorts of Columbus's ship were little better than open boats, but
believe that they were stout, well-formed vessels, not so utterly
unworthy of the great sovereigns who sent forth the expedition.  Right
honoured was the little town of Palos, whence it sailed on Friday, 3rd
August, 1492.

Henry, although he had lost this great opportunity of increasing his
renown, wisely perceived that in no way could he more effectually gain
the respect of his subjects and consolidate his power than by affording
every encouragement to naval enterprise, and to the extension of
commerce.  He therefore gladly listened to a proposal to search for
certain lands said to exist in the north-west, made by John Cabot, a
Venetian by birth, settled at Bristol.  A commission, signed in 1496,
was granted to him and his three sons, Lewis, Sebastian, and Sanctius,
who were skilful in navigation and cosmography.

The record is as follows:--"The King, upon the third day of February, in
the thirteenth year of his reign, gave licence to John Cabot to take six
English ships, in any haven or havens of the realm of England, being of
the burden of 200 tons or under, with all necessary furniture; and to
take, also, into the said ships, all such masters, mariners, and
subjects of the King as might be willing to go with him."

The expedition sailed early in the year 1497, and reached the coast of
Labrador, Newfoundland, in June of the same year.  There is some doubt
whether the father, John, was alive at that time, so that the more
celebrated Sebastian has the credit of the discovery.  At all events, he
performed several successful voyages in the same direction, and made
many important discoveries.  Thus, though the Spaniards claim the honour
of being the discoverers of the middle portion of the great continent of
America, there can be no doubt that the English were the first visitors
to its northern shores, where many millions of their descendants are now

Henry, with his usual sagacity, saw the advantage of having a fleet of
ships exclusively fitted for war, instead of drawing off those which
might be well calculated for the purposes of commerce, but were not,
from their construction, suited to stand the brunt of battle.  He could
not but perceive, besides this, that by employing the merchant-vessels,
as had before been done, for the purposes of fighting, he crippled the
merchants in their commercial pursuits, and prevented them from
supplying him with the sinews of war.  He desired also to have a
permanent fleet ready, should war break out, to protect the coasts of
his kingdom from foreign invasion.  The first ship he built was called
the _Great Harry_.  She cost 14,000 pounds.  She had four masts, a high
poop and forecastle, in which were placed numerous guns, turning inboard
and outwards.  She had only one tier of guns on the upper-deck, as ports
were not used in those days.  She was, however, what would now be called
frigate-built.  She was burnt by accident at Woolwich in 1553.  The
_Great Harry_ may properly be considered the first ship of what is now
denominated the Royal Navy.  There is a model of her in Somerset House,
and there are numerous prints of her which give a notion of what she was
like.  Few seamen of the present day, I fancy, would wish to go to sea
in a similar craft.  I certainly used to doubt that such a vessel could
have ventured out of harbour at all, till I saw the Chinese junk which
was brought to the Thames all the way round from China, and which, in
appearance and construction, is not very dissimilar to what, from her
model, the _Great Harry_ must have been, except in point of size.  She
probably did not measure much less than 1000 tons; she must have been,
therefore, about the size of a modern frigate.



No sovereign of England was ever proclaimed with more universal joy than
was Henry the Eighth, when, at the age of eighteen, he succeeded to the
throne of his father, A.D. 1509.  Tyrant and despot as he became at
home, he did not neglect the interests of commerce, while he maintained
the honour of England abroad.  He made very great improvements in the
work his father had commenced.  By his prerogative, and at his own
expense, he settled the constitution of the present Royal Navy.  An
Admiralty and Navy Office were established, and commissioners to
superintend naval affairs were appointed by him.

Regular salaries were settled for admirals, vice-admirals, captains, and
seamen, and the sea-service at this time became a distinct and regular

In 1512, Henry, having entered into a league with Spain against France,
fitted out a fleet under the command of Sir Edward Howard, Lord High
Admiral, and by an indenture, dated 8th of April of that year, granted
him the following allowance:--For his own maintenance, diet, wages, and
rewards, ten shillings a-day.  For each of the captains, for their diet,
wages, and rewards, eighteenpence a-day.  For every soldier, mariner,
and gunner, five shillings a-month for his wages, and five shillings for
his victuals, reckoning twenty-eight days in the month.  But the
admiral, captains, officers, and men had also further allowances, under
the denomination of dead shares.  I doubt whether the naval officers and
men of the present day would be satisfied with a similar amount of pay.
Certainly the mariners of those days had more dangers and hardships to
encounter than have those of the present time under ordinary
circumstances.  That year Henry's fleet consisted of forty-five ships,
of which the largest was the _Regent_, of 1000 tons; the two next in
size being the _Sovereign_ and the _Mary Rose_, of about 500 tons each.

The Regent and Cordelier.

War was now declared against France, and the English fleet put to sea
under the command of Sir Edward Howard.  It carried a considerable body
of land forces, under the command of the Earl of Dorset, which were
landed at the Port of Passages, in Spain.  Afterwards, being reinforced
by a number of stout ships, the admiral sailed for Brest, in the hopes
of encountering the French.  Sir William Knevet had command of the
_Regent_, and Sir Charles Brandon, who had sixty of the tallest yeomen
of the Guard under him, commanded the _Sovereign_.  The fleet arrived
off Brest just as the French fleet, consisting of thirty-nine sail, was
coming out of the harbour.  On seeing the enemy, Sir Edward made the
signal for an immediate engagement.  Scarcely was the signal seen, than
the _Regent_ and the _Cordelier_, the latter being the largest ship in
the French navy, attacked each other as if by mutual consent.  The
_Cordelier_, it is said, carried 1200 soldiers.  Undoubtedly her
commander hoped to carry the English ship by boarding.  In the course of
the action, when locked in a deadly embrace with their grappling-irons,
another English ship threw into the _Cordelier_ a quantity of
combustibles, or fire-works, as they were called, and set her on fire.
In vain the crew of the _Regent_ endeavoured to free their ship from her
perilous position.  The magazine of the _Cordelier_ was reached, and she
and the _Regent_ went up into the air together.  In the _Regent_, Sir
William Knevet and 700 men were lost, and in the _Cordelier_, Sir Pierce
Morgan, her captain, and 900 of her crew are supposed to have perished.
After this dreadful catastrophe the action ceased; the French,
horror-stricken, hurriedly making their way into Brest.  The ships,
also, of both parties, had received considerable damage.

Although cannon had been employed on board ships since the time of
Edward the Third, this was probably one of the first sea-fights in which
they were used by both parties on board all the ships engaged.  Even on
this occasion the combatants seem to have trusted more to their
battle-axes and swords than to their artillery.  The French give a
different account of this battle.  They say that an English ship having
discharged a quantity of fire-works into the _Cordelier_, she caught
fire, when her Breton commander, finding that the conflagration could
not be extinguished, and determined not to perish alone, made up to the
English admiral and grappled her, when they blew up into the air
together.  On this the two fleets separated by mutual consent.

The following year another fleet of forty-two men-of-war, under the
command of the Lord High Admiral, sailed for Brest, when the French
squadron was found at anchor, protected by batteries on shore, and a
line of twenty-four hulks chained together across the harbour's mouth.
The admiral, however, making a feint with his boats, drew the enemy down
to the shore, when he ran up past the batteries, and ravaged the country
round the town.  The French had been waiting the arrival of six galleys
from the Mediterranean, under Monsieur Pregent.

I cannot refrain from giving the first account I have met with of what
may properly be called a cutting-out expedition.  While the English
fleet were at Brest, Monsieur Pregent arrived on the coast with six
galleys and four foists, and, apprehensive of being attacked by the
enemy, he entered the Bay of Conquet, which was the nearest place to
Brest.  He here placed his squadron between two rocks, on which he
mounted cannon and threw up a breastwork.  Notwithstanding the
advantageous position of this squadron, the Lord High Admiral resolved
to attack it.  He had two galleys in his fleet.  He went on board one of
these, and entrusted the other to Lord Rivers.  He had, besides, only
two large barges and two boats.  With these, on the 20th of April, he
boldly ventured into the Bay of Conquet to attack the French galleys.
He no sooner came abeam of the galley commanded by Monsieur Pregent,
than, ordering his vessel to be lashed alongside, he boarded her sword
in hand, followed only by Don Carroz, a Spanish cavalier, and seventeen
of his men.  He appeared at first to be gaining the day; but, by some
accident, his galley swinging loose, he and his followers, deprived of
all succour, were so hard-pressed by the enemy that they were driven
headlong into the sea.  Lord Ferrers, who had during this time been
engaging the enemy without success, seeing the admiral's galley fall
off, retreated.  When, however, Lord Howard was missed, a flag of truce
was sent to the French commander, who replied that only one seaman had
escaped death, and that the admiral and the rest of his companions had
been forced overboard.  After this the English fleet returned home.  In
a short time Monsieur Pregent, flushed with success, ravaged the coast
of Sussex; but was driven away by Sir Thomas Howard, who succeeded his
brother as Lord High Admiral.  In the year 1514, the ever-active Pregent
again paid the Sussex coast a visit, and burnt Brighthelmstone, as
Brighton was then called.  In return for this compliment, Sir John
Wallop was sent with a fleet to the coast of Normandy, where he burnt
twenty-one towns and villages.  In consequence of the energetic and
summary way in which he carried out his system of retaliation, those who
have imitated him have been said to "wallop" the enemy.  To replace the
_Regent_ destroyed in the terrible way above described, the king built a
ship at Erith in 1515, and called her the _Henri Grace de Dieu_.  She
was of 1000 tons burden, and manned with 301 mariners, 50 gunners, and
349 soldiers.  Up to that period, when ships were to be manned in a
hurry, soldiers were sent on board to do the duty of seamen as best they
could, and generals were turned into admirals at very short notice.
However, it would be more correct to say that the fighting was done
chiefly by soldiers, and consequently that military officers went to
command them, while the ships were navigated by professional seamen, who
had their own sea-officers, though generally of an inferior grade, over
them.  A vestige of this custom still remains in the Royal Navy.  On
board every ship, besides the captain and his lieutenants, there is a
sailing-master, who has also his mates or assistants, who have especial
charge of the navigation of the ship.  Formerly the captain and his
lieutenants were not of necessity seamen.  Now, they are so by
profession, though they still retain a remnant of their military
character.  In time, probably, the last representative of the
master-of-the-mariners, as he was called, will disappear from the
British navy--it being the duty of the lieutenants to attend to the
navigation of the ship, as they do now to the management in every other

One of the wisest acts of Henry the Eighth was making the sea-service a
regular profession--though long after his time ships, and even fleets,
were commanded by men who had hitherto lived and fought only on shore.
About the year 1545 port-holes were generally introduced on board the
larger ships.  Before that time the guns were fought over the bulwarks,
or were alone placed on the forecastle, and the aftercastle, which
latter portion of the ship is now called the poop.  This word _poop_ is
evidently derived from the Latin _puppis_, as originally the after-part
of a ship was called by the Romans, and thence the name was given to the
ship herself, a part being taken for the whole.  The ports were,
however, placed not more than sixteen inches from the water, so close,
indeed, as greatly to peril the ship.  It was in consequence of this
faulty construction that the _Mary Rose_ of sixty guns, one of the
largest ships in the British navy, heeling over to a squall while
encountering the French at Spithead, was capsized, when her captain, Sir
George Carew, and upwards of 500 of his men, perished in the waves.  As
late as the year 1835, Mr Deane, by means of his ingenious invention,
the diving-bell, was enabled to recover several guns, parts of the
wreck, and some stone-shot of the _Mary Rose_.

Ships generally carried but few guns.  A writer, describing a battle
which took place off the Isle of Wight, and which lasted two hours, when
upwards of ninety ships were engaged, speaks of 300 shot being fired, to
prove how desperate was the contest.  I have before me an account of the
battle in which the _Mary Rose_ was lost, not, as the French say, in
consequence of their fire, but because it was attempted to keep her
ports open when a considerable sea was running, and a strong breeze had
suddenly sprung up.  The French king had sent over a large fleet to
annoy the English coasts.  Henry, hearing of the expedition, hurried
down to Portsmouth to hasten the equipment of 100 sail, which he had
ordered to be got ready.  The French appearing, the English sailed out
to Saint Helen's to meet them.  A squall came on, and the _Mary Rose_
foundering, the _Great Harry_ which was attacked by the French
row-galleys, bore the brunt of the action.  The French quickly retired,
though they attempted to make a lodgment on the Isle of Wight, but were
compelled to return to their ships.  The English are described as using
pinances, which are vessels of great length and little beam, moving very
rapidly, and fitted both with sails and oars.  We hear, also, that the
_Carracon_ the ship of the French Admiral, was destroyed by fire before
the fleet left their coasts.  She is described as appearing like a
castle among the other ships of the fleet, and so strong that she had
nothing to fear at sea but fire and rocks.  It is stated that she had
100 brass cannon on board; but as she was not more than 800 tons burden,
they must have been very small ones.  Still, it is certain that she was
the stoutest ship possessed by the French.

From a French account of one of the attacks made on the English fleet
before Portsmouth, we ascertain the character of the galleys employed by
the French.  We are told that they were worked by oars, and we read that
so many galley-slaves were killed.  It is said, also, that "the galleys
had all the advantage of working that they could desire, to the great
damage of the English, who, for want of wind, not being able to stir,
lay exposed to the French cannon, and being so much higher and bulkier
than their galleys, hardly a shot missed them; while the galleys, with
the help of their oars, shifted at pleasure, and thereby avoided the
danger of the enemy's artillery."  The same writer says that, later in
the day, "the violence of the wind, and the swelling of the sea, would
deprive us of our galleys."  We thus see at once that these galleys,
though from their lightness easily manoeuvred in smooth water, were
unfit to buffet with the winds and waves.  They were probably similar to
the galleys I have before described, and which for centuries were in use
in the Mediterranean.

Another writer says: "A gale arising, the French galleys were in danger,
the English ships bearing down upon them with full sail, a danger from
which they escaped purely by the skill and experience of their
commanders, and the intrepidity of the _Prior of Capua_, who exposed his
galley with undaunted courage, and freed himself from danger with equal
address."  The title of Prior of Capua sounds oddly enough when applied
to a naval commander.  From these accounts it would appear that the
English ships were more powerful than those of the French, and were
better calculated to stand the brunt of battle than to chase a nimble
enemy, as the French seem to have been.  The larger ships in the British
navy were at that time fitted with four masts, like the _Henri Grace de

Though the yards and sails were unwieldy, the rigging heavy, and the top
hamper prodigious, we find that they were tending towards the form they
had assumed when Howe, Jervis, and Nelson led our fleets to victory.

They had short stout masts, a vast number of shrouds to support them,
and large heavy round tops on which a dozen men or more could stand.
The sterns were ornamented with a profusion of heavy carved-work, and
they had great lanterns stuck up at the taffrail, as big, almost, as
sentry-boxes, while the forecastle still somewhat resembled the building
from which it took its name.  This vast amount of woodwork, rising high
above the surface of the water, was very detrimental to the sailing
qualities of ships, and must have caused the loss of many.  What sailors
call fore-and-aft sails had already been introduced, and we hear
constantly of ships beating to windward, and attempting to gain the
weather-gage.  In those days a great variety of ordnance were employed,
to which our ancestors gave the odd-sounding names of cannon,
demi-cannon, culverins, demi-culverins, sakers, mynions, falcons,
falconets, portpiece-halls, port-piece-chambers, fowler-halls, and
curthalls.  These guns varied very much in length and in the weight of
their shot.  When a ship is spoken of as carrying fifty or sixty guns it
must be understood that every description of ordnance on board was
included, so that a very erroneous idea would be formed, if we pictured
a ship of sixty guns of those days as in any way resembling in size a
third, or even a fourth-rate at the end of the last century.  An old
author says: "By the employment of Italian shipwrights, and by
encouraging his own people to build strong ships of war to carry great
ordnance, Henry established a puissant navy, which, at the end of his
reign, consisted of seventy-one vessels, whereof thirty were ships of
burden, and contained in all 10,550 tons, and two were galleys, and the
rest were small barks and row-barges, from eighty tons down to fifteen
tons, which served in rivers and for landing men."

Stone-shot had hitherto been used both at sea and on shore, but about
the middle of the century they were superseded by iron shot.  About the
same period matchlocks were introduced on board ships.

An Act was passed in this reign encouraging merchants to build ships fit
for men-of-war, such ships being exempt from certain duties, the owners
also receiving from the king, when he required them, twelve shillings
per ton a-month.

Henry the Eighth established an Office of Admiralty, with a Navy Office,
under certain commissioners; and appointed regular salaries, not only
for his admirals and vice-admirals, but for his captains and seamen.
This established the system, pursued with various alterations, for the
maintenance of the Royal Navy.  These regulations and appointments
encouraged the English to consider the sea as a means of providing for
their children, and from this time forward we have a constant series of
eminent officers in the Royal Navy, many of them noblemen of the first
distinction.  Among the most celebrated in this reign were Sir Edward
Howard, his brother Sir Thomas Howard, afterwards Earl of Surrey, Sir
William Fitzwilliams, afterwards Earl of Southampton, and John Russell,
first Earl of Bedford.  The most eminent navigator in the reign of
Edward the Sixth was Sebastian Cabot, son of John Cabot, who, under
Henry the Seventh, discovered Newfoundland.  Nothing was done concerning
trade without consulting him; he was at the head of the merchant
adventurers, and governor of a company formed to find out a passage by
the north to the East Indies.  Among the regulations for the government
of the fleet destined for the voyage to Cathay were several which show a
considerable amount of worldly wisdom and sound so quaint, that I am
tempted to quote a few of them.  Clause 22--"Item--not to disclose to
any nation the state of our religion, but to pass it over in silence
without any declaration of it, seeming to bear with such laws and rites
as the place hath where you shall arrive."  Item 23--"Forasmuch as our
people and ships may appear unto them strange and wondrous, and theirs
also to ours, it is to be considered how they may be used, learning much
of their nature and dispositions by some one such person whom you may
first either allure or take to be brought on board your ship."  Item
24--"The persons so taken to be well entertained, used, and apparelled,
to be set on land to the intent he or she may allure others to draw nigh
to show the commodities; and if the person taken may be made drunk with
your beer or wine, you shall know the secrets of his heart."

Under the judicious management of Sebastian Cabot, the Russian Company
was established, though their charter was not granted till the year
1555.  Among other discoverers and navigators Captain Wyndham merits
notice, having opened up a trade with the coast of Guinea.  Both he and
his companion Pintado died, however, of fever, forty only of his crew
returning to Plymouth.  Captain Richard Chancellor is another able
navigator of this reign.  He sailed with Sir Hugh Willoughby in the
service of the company, at the recommendation of Cabot.  He made several
voyages to Russia; in the last, he parted with Sir Hugh Willoughby, who,
putting into a port to winter, was, with all his crew, frozen to death.
His ship was found riding safe at anchor by some Russian fishermen, and
from a journal discovered on board it was found that the admiral and
most of his fellow-adventurers were alive in January, 1554.

During Henry the Eighth's reign the infamous slave-trade was commenced
by Mr William Hawkins of Plymouth, father of the celebrated Sir John
Hawkins.  He, however, evidently did not consider the traffic in the
light in which it is now regarded.  In his ship, the _Paul_, of
Plymouth, he made three voyages to the Brazils, touching at the coast of
Guinea, where he traded in slaves, gold, and elephants' teeth.  At that
time the English, considering themselves lords paramount at sea,
insisted that ships of all other nations should strike their flags in
presence of their fleets.  Even when William Lord Howard, Mary's high
admiral, went with a fleet of twenty-eight men-of-war to await the
arrival of King Philip, who soon after appeared in the channel, escorted
by one hundred and sixty sail, the Spanish flag flying at his main-top,
the English admiral compelled him to lower it, by firing a shot before
he would salute the intended consort of the Queen.  This determination
of the English to maintain the sovereignty of the seas was the cause
hereafter of many a desperate naval engagement between themselves and
the Dutch, who disputed their right to the honour.

Henry died A.D. 1547.  No great improvements were made in navigation
during his reign, but the encouragement he gave to shipbuilding, and the
establishment of a permanent Royal Navy, contributed much to enable
England to attain that supremacy on the ocean which she has ever since

During the early part of Edward the Sixth's reign the navy of England
was employed chiefly in operations against the Scotch, but in 1550 the
French formed a plan to capture Jersey and Guernsey, which they
surrounded with a large fleet, having 2000 troops on board.  The
inhabitants held out stoutly, and gained time for Captain (afterwards
Sir William) Winter to arrive to their succour.  Though he had but a
small squadron, so hastily did he attack the French, that he captured
and burnt nearly all their ships and killed a thousand men, the rest
with difficulty escaping to the mainland.

Mary's reign is a blank, as far as most achievements were concerned,
and, had the miserable queen obtained her wishes, the ships of England,
and all the English hold dear, would have been handed over to the tender
mercies of Philip and the Spaniards.



When Elizabeth came to the throne, she, without loss of time, took
measures to restore the navy, which had been allowed to fall into decay
during the reign of her wretched sister Mary.  Timber was stored up for
building, numerous pieces of brass cannon cast, and gunpowder, which had
hitherto been brought from abroad, was manufactured at home.  She raised
the wages of seamen, increased the number of naval officers, and
augmented their salaries, giving also encouragement to foreigners
skilled in shipbuilding to repair to her ports and construct strong
ships, both for war and commerce.  The fortresses in the Isle of Wight
and other parts were increased, and scarcely had she governed four days
when Vice-Admiral Malyn was ordered to sail, with as many ships as were
fit for sea, to protect trade and to defend the channel.

She, of course, took these steps by the advice of Cecil, who likewise
directed Sir Thomas Gresham to send over coin from Holland, and to
purchase arms and munitions of war.  Cecil was thoroughly cognisant of
the designs of the Spaniards, and he had soon a proof of their
perfidious intentions.  A squadron under the command of Sir John Hawkins
had been driven into the port of Saint Juan d'Ulloa in the Bay of
Mexico, and was suddenly attacked by a Spanish fleet, the commander of
which had just before been professing his friendly intentions.  Sir John
suspected treachery in consequence of observing that the Spaniards were
shifting arms from one ship to another, planting and levelling their
cannon from their ships towards an island on which some of the English
had landed.  The master of one of the ships being sent to the Spanish
admiral, he was seized; and, causing the trumpet to be sounded, the
Spaniards set on the English on all sides.  The men on shore being
dismayed at the unexpected onset, fled, and endeavoured to recover their
ships, but the Spaniards, landing in great numbers, slew most of them
without quarter.  Several of the English ships were destroyed--the
_Minion_ and _Judith_, with a small bark of fifty tons, alone escaping.
The crews underwent incredible hardships, though they at length found
their way to England.  The English captured on the island by the
Spaniards were afterwards thrown into the Inquisition, where they
remained shut up asunder in dungeons for a year and a-half.  Three were
afterwards burnt; others were condemned to receive two and three hundred
blows on horseback with long whips, and to serve in the galleys for many
years; and others were confined in monasteries, dressed in the S. Benito
or fool's coats.  One of them, Job Hartob, after enduring captivity for
twenty-three years, escaped, and reached England.  So enraged were the
nation at this treachery of the Spaniards, that it was with difficulty
they could be restrained from breaking the peace with that perfidious

A further cause of dissension arose in consequence of a convoy of
vessels, bound from the coast of Biscay for the Low Countries with a
large quantity of money on board, being chased by French pirates, having
taken shelter in Plymouth, Falmouth, and Southampton.  The queen, being
informed that the money was on the merchants' accounts, and that the
Duke of Alva would certainly seize it to enable him to carry on the war,
made bold to borrow the sum.  This brought matters to a crisis;
reprisals were made by Spain, and the English seized many Spanish and
Flemish ships.  The English on this, with incredible alacrity, fitted
out vessels, and fell upon all merchant-ships belonging to the
Spaniards.  Spain, it was now known, was preparing a formidable force
for the invasion of England; but the queen and her ministers,
unintimidated by the boasts of the Spaniards, omitted no precautionary
measures to defeat Philip's plans.  In 1587, a fleet under Sir Francis
Drake was despatched to Cadiz.  The admiral here forced six galleys,
placed for the guardianship of the port, to shelter themselves under the
cannon of the castle; and then, having burnt upwards of a hundred ships
laden with ammunition and provisions, he sailed for Cape Saint Vincent,
where he surprised some forts, and destroyed all the fishing craft he
could fall in with.  From thence, appearing off the mouth of the Tagus,
he challenged the Spanish admiral, Santa Cruz, to come out and fight;
but the Spaniard, obeying his master's orders, allowed Drake to burn and
destroy every vessel he could find, rather than hazard an engagement.
The King of Spain, hoping to frighten the English, published in every
country in Europe a full account of the armada he was preparing for the
subjugation, as he hoped, of England.  For three years had Philip been
making the most mighty efforts to fit out a fleet with which he hoped to
humble the pride of the queen of that "tight little island," who had
dared to refuse his hand, and to enslave her heretical subjects.  The
Most Happy Armada, for so he had styled it, consisted of 134 sail of
towering ships, of the total burden of 57,868 tons; on board of it wore
19,295 soldiers, 8450 sailors, 2088 slaves, and 2830 pieces of cannon.
In addition to the foregoing, there were galleys, galliasses, and
galleons stored with 22,000 pounds of great shot, 40,000 quintals, or
hundredweights of powder, 1000 quintals of lead for bullets, 10,000
quintals of match, 7000 muskets and calivers, 1000 partisans and
halberds, besides double-cannon and field-pieces for a camp on
disembarking, and a great many mules, horses, and asses, with six
months' provisions of all sorts.  To this may be added a large band of
monks, with racks, thumbscrews, chains, whips, butchering knives, and
other implements of torture, with which it was proposed to convert the
English from the error of their ways, and to bring them to the true
faith as expounded by the pope and his pupil Philip.

The larger of these ships measured from 1000 to 1200 tons, they carried
50 guns, about 180 mariners, and 300 soldiers.  A still larger number
measuring from 600 to 800 tons, and carrying from 30 to 40 guns, with
crews of about 100 seamen, and 300 soldiers.  There was a fleet of
pataches and zabras, a considerable number of which measured no more
than 60 tons, and carried 8 guns and 30 seamen.  The galliasses must,
however, have been ships of great bulk, as they carried 50 guns, and
crews of about 120 men, with a still larger number of soldiers, besides
which they each had about 300 slaves for working their oars.  The
galleys also carried 50 guns and about 230 slaves.  This fleet was
divided into ten squadrons, each commanded by an experienced officer.
The pataches are more commonly called carvels.  Besides the Dominicans,
Franciscans, Flagellants, and Jesuits, there were on board many hundred
persons of the best families of Spain; some maintained by the king, with
their servants, and those belonging to the duke's court.

This vast armada was followed by a fleet of tenders, with a prodigious
quantity of arms on board, intended to put into the hands of those whom
it was expected would rise on their reaching the shores of our own land.
The command of this mighty squadron, generally known as the Spanish
Armada, was given to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, and under him was Don
Martinez de Recaldo, an experienced admiral, who managed the affairs of
the fleet.  The reports of the enormous preparations made by the
Spaniards for the destruction of everything they held dear naturally
caused the greatest anxiety, if not consternation, among the English,
but the nation was true to itself.  The queen and her ministers, in no
way daunted at the mighty preparations for their enslavement, vigorously
prepared for resistance, taking all the measures wisdom could dictate
and their means would allow for repelling the invaders.  The country
flew to arms; every county raised a body of militia; the sea-ports were
fortified, and a system of signals arranged so that troops could be
brought to the point where they were required with the greatest possible
speed.  Orders were also given that, should the enemy land, the whole
country round should be laid waste, so that the Spaniards might find no
food except what they brought with them.  The regular army was disposed,
a part along the southern coast, another near Torbay, under the command
of the Earl of Leicester, while a third, under the leading of Lord
Hunsdon, was destined to guard the queen's person.  The English
Government, not misled by the assurances of the Spanish minister that
his master's wish was to remain at peace, took care to keep themselves
well informed of the proceedings of the Spaniards, and of the time the
Armada was likely to be ready to put to sea.

Offers had been made by Philip to conclude a treaty, and a meeting was
held between his envoys and the English commissioners in April near
Ostend.  The Spaniards, however, purposely squandered away the time,
hoping to stop the preparations of the English while their own were
going forward, and at length fixed on Brouckburg in Flanders as the
place for concluding a treaty of peace.  Before the time agreed on had
arrived, the Spanish Armada had sailed from the Tagus.  The pope having
blessed the fleet which was to be engaged in the pious office of
subjugating the heretics of England, it was named the Great, Noble, and
Invincible Armada, the terror of Europe.

The English fleet was placed under the command of Lord Howard of
Effingham, who had, however, only seventeen ships of war actually
belonging to the queen.  The largest of these, the _Triumph_, was of
1100 tons, carried 500 men, and was commanded by Sir Martin Frobisher.
The next in size was the _White Bear_, also with a crew of 500 men,
commanded by Lord Edmund Sheffield.  The third in size was the _Ark_,
the admiral's flag-ship, of 800 tons, commanded by Raleigh.  Of the same
size was the _Victory_, carrying the flag of Sir John Hawkins, the
rear-admiral, with a crew of 400 men.  There were two others of 600
tons, the _Elizabeth Bonaventure_ and the _Hope_.  There were six of 500
tons, two of 400 tons, another of 360 tons, while the rest ranged from
30 to 120 tons.  To these were joined twelve hired ships and six
tenders.  The city of London provided sixteen ships, twice the number
demanded, with four store-ships; the city of Bristol, three; Barnstaple,
three; Exeter, two, and a tender and stout pinance; Plymouth, seven
stout ships, equal to the men-of-war.  Sixteen ship were under Lord
Henry Seymour.  The nobility and gentry and commons of England furnished
forty-three ships; the merchant adventurers, ten; to which may be added
a fly-boat and Sir W. Winter's pinnace, making in all 143 ships.

Of these ships, thirty-two were under the command of Sir Francis Drake,
and several of them were of 400 tons burden; but the greater number were
not of more than 200 tons.  The largest London ship was only of 300
tons, but the greater number were above 100 tons, and the smallest of 60
tons.  Lord Henry Seymour's ships were mostly under 150 tons, the
largest being only 160.  Altogether the number of their crews did not
amount to more than 15,000 men, but they were one and all gallant tars,
resolved to fight and conquer, and fearless of danger.  Sir Francis
Drake, with fifty sail, had been stationed at Plymouth, and here the
Lord High Admiral, with a large part of his fleet, joined him on the
23rd May, when Sir Francis was made his vice-admiral.  Hence, with about
ninety ships, the fleet sailed up and down between Ushant and Scilly,
waiting for the arrival of the Armada, which had sailed, as has been
said, on the 1st June.  A tremendous storm, which compelled the English
to run into harbour, had, however, dispersed the Spaniards, and driven
them back with some damage into port.  Shortly afterwards a report
reached England, circulated probably by the Spaniards themselves, that
the whole of their fleet had been weather-beaten, and that they would be
unable to proceed to sea till the next year.  This was actually believed
by the English Government, who ordered the Lord High Admiral to send
back four of his largest ships into port; but Lord Howard, alleging how
dangerous it was to be too credulous, retained the ships, observing that
he would rather keep them at his own charge than expose the nation to so
great a hazard.

The wind coming from the north, on the 8th of June Lord Howard sailed
towards Spain, looking out for the Armada; but the wind changing to the
south, and he seeing that it would be favourable to the Spaniards,
returned towards England, lest they might slip by and reach the coast
before him.  On the 12th he arrived at Plymouth, where the whole fleet
was assembled, waiting for the enemy, and on the 19th of June--

  "'Twas about the lovely close of a warm summer's day.
  There came a gallant merchant-ship, full sail to Plymouth Bay.
  Her crew hath seen Castile's black fleet, beyond Aurigny's isle,
  At earliest twilight, on the wave, lie heaving many a mile;
  At sunrise she escaped their van, by God's especial grace,
  And the tall _Pinta_, till at noon, had held her close in chase."

This tall ship was commanded by Captain Thomas Fleming, who had been
stationed on the look-out to the eastward.  The wind blowing almost
directly into the sound, it was scarcely possible for the English fleet
to put to sea; at length, however, by dint of warping, the admiral's
ship and six more got out of the haven, and by daylight, on the 20th,
sixty others joined him; with these he sailed, and when off the
Eddystone caught sight of the enemy to the westward.  Notice of the
appearance of the Armada was spread far and wide throughout the land.

  "Night sank upon the dusky beach, and on the purple sea;
  Such night in England ne'er had been, nor ne'er again shall be.
  From Eddystone to Berwick bounds, from Lynn to Milford Bay,
  That time of slumber was as bright and busy as the day;
  For swift to east and swift to west the ghastly war-flames spread,
  High on Saint Michael's Mount it shone, it shone on Beachy Head.
  Far on the deep the Spaniards saw, along each southern shore,
  Cape beyond cape in endless range, those twinkling spots of fire."

Onward came the Armada in perfect order, forming a crescent, the horns
of which were seven miles apart, the concave part to the rear.
Formidable, indeed, from their size and number, did they appear, like so
many floating castles, such as had never in the world's history sailed
over the surface of the deep.  The English captains were eager for the
attack, but Lord Howard wisely checked their ardour, pointing out the
enormous size of the enemy's ships, which also being full of troops,
they could hope to do nothing with by boarding.  Had, indeed, the
Spaniards ventured to attack the English on that day, it would have been
difficult to escape from them.  Having wisely waited till the following
morning, Sunday, the 21st of June, the admiral was joined by the rest of
the fleet, which had got out of the sound, and had, moreover, the wind
in its favour.  The battle commenced at nine o'clock in the morning,
when Lord Howard attacked a Spanish ship commanded by Don Alfonso de
Lara.  Lord Howard pressed in upon her, tore her hull with his
broadside, and brought her to the verge of sinking.  Drake, Hawkins, and
Frobisher attacked, also, the rearmost of the Spanish ships, commanded
by Recaldo, the vice-admiral, ship engaging ship, till the Spaniards
were so disabled that they took to flight, and were received into the
main body.  The British seamen, elated by their success, pressed on more
and more boldly, till, darkness coming on, the Lord High Admiral, by
signal, ordered them to desist.  About midnight the English saw a large
ship in the centre of the Spanish fleet blow up.  As it proved
afterwards, she had on board a large amount of treasure, which was moved
before she was deserted to another ship, commanded by Don Pedro Vargas.
It coming on to blow hard at night, this ship sprang her foremast, and
falling astern, was attacked and captured by Sir Francis Drake.  Besides
the treasure, several persons of distinction were found on board, the
first Spanish prisoners made on this occasion.  The ship was sent into
Dartmouth, where the plunder of the vessel was divided among the

A ship which had been destroyed was fallen in with the next day, having
fifty men on board cruelly burnt, and vast numbers dead.  In the evening
Sir Francis Drake was induced to sail in pursuit of several ships he saw
in the south-west, but which proved to be German merchant-vessels; and
it was evening of the next day before he could rejoin the fleet.  Next
morning, the two fleets having manoeuvred for some time to gain the
weather-gage, about noon the Spaniards at length bore down on a number
of the London vessels; but the Lord High Admiral sending a
reinforcement, rescued his ships, and nearly took the vice-admiral.  So
high were the sides of the Spanish ships that their shot generally flew
over the heads of the English, and did little damage; while scarcely a
shot from the ships of the latter missed its aim.  After the fleets had
engaged for some time, the wind shifted to the south-south-west.  On
this Lord Howard led his fleet to the attack of the Armada.  One of his
ships, the _Triumph_, pushing too far, was surrounded by the Spaniards;
but the admiral, with six other vessels, bore down to her assistance,
having given orders to his captains not to fire a gun till within
musket-shot.  The _Triumph_ was rescued, and the Spaniards driven back,
miserably shattered.

About this period one William Cox, captain of a little pinnace called
the _Violet_, belonging to Sir William Winter, behaved valiantly against
the enemy, but his gallant little craft was sunk, and he was killed by a
great piece of ordnance.  As an old author writes on this occasion:
"Also the _May Flower_ of London, a name known to fame, performed an
honourable part.  Never, indeed, was seen so vehement a fight; either
side endeavouring to bring about the destruction of the other.  For
albeit the musqueteers and arquebusiers were in either fleet many in
number, yet could they not be discerned or heard by reason of the roar
of the greater ordnance that followed so thick one upon another, and
played so well that day on either side that they were thought to be
equal in number to common arquebusiers in a hot skirmish.  The battle
was not only long, but also near at hand--within half a musket-shot--and
that to the great advantage of the Englishmen, who, with their ships
being, as was aforesaid, excellent of sail and of steerage, yet less a
great deal than the Spanish ships, and therefore more light and nimble,
fought not according to their manner otherwise, to board them, but
keeping themselves aloof at a reasonable distance, continually beat upon
the hull and tackling of the enemy's ships, which, being a good deal
higher, could not so easily beat the English ships with their ordnance.
Thus in the space of one day, with the loss only of one small ship and
less than a hundred men on the part of the English, was the so-called
Invincible Armada utterly beaten and nearly destroyed--though to the God
of battles must truly be ascribed the victory, for the power of the
elements more than man's strength, caused the destruction of the larger
number of the Spanish ships."

At evening the engagement ceased, by which time several of the enemy's
ships had been taken, among them a Venetian ship of large size and
force.  The next day, for want of ammunition, the English were unable to
renew the attack; but the Spaniards, not knowing this, did not attempt
to molest them.  It had been intended, on the night of the 24th, by Lord
Howard, to attack the Armada in the dead of the night, but the wind
failing he was disappointed in his object.  On the 25th, a vast galleon,
dropping behind, was captured by Sir John Hawkins after a desperate
resistance.  Several galliasses, sent by the Spanish admiral to the
rescue of the galleon, were nearly taken.  The persevering English, in
their small vessels, continued their assaults on the vast ships of the
enemy, never failing to inflict considerable damage on them.  In the
meantime, more powder and shot were brought on board to enable them to
carry on their assaults.  On the following day the admiral determined,
however, to allow the Armada to proceed towards the Straits of Calais,
where another fleet, under Lord Henry Seymour and Captain Winter, lay in
wait for them.  Thus the Armada sailed forward till the English saw them
anchor before Calais, on the 27th of July.  Here, being joined by the
before-mentioned squadron, the Lord High Admiral found himself in
command of nearly 150 stout ships, and, bearing down on the enemy,
anchored at a short distance from them.  The Spanish admiral had
anchored in the hopes of being joined by the Duke of Parma, but the
fleets of Holland and Zealand blockaded him in the ports of Dunkirk and
Niewport, and he dared not sail out.  Seeing that the Spanish ships lay
very close together, Lord Howard planned a new method for their
destruction.  Eight of the least valuable vessels being fitted out as
fire-ships, and having their guns loaded, were conducted towards the
Spaniards by Captains Young and Prowse, who, in the most undaunted
manner, firing the trains as they got close to the Spaniards, retired.
As the burning ships bore down upon them, the Spaniards, struck with
dismay, cut their cables, and put to sea.  The largest galliasse in the
fleet ran on shore, and was captured by the boats of the squadron, after
all her fighting men had been killed--the slaves at the oars alone
escaping.  Several thus ran on the shoals on the coast of Flanders.

The greater number were attacked fiercely by the English, who disabled
many of their ships.  The Earl of Cumberland sent a large galleon to the
bottom, another was sunk by the Lord High Admiral, and two other vessels
by Drake and Hawkins.  Another large galleon, the _Saint Matthew_, was
captured by the Dutch, as was the _Saint Philip_, after in vain
endeavouring to escape, having been driven by the English towards

One of the most gallant of the English commanders was Captain Robert
Cross, who, in a small vessel, sunk three of the enemy; while the
Spaniards fled whenever they were attacked--indeed, the whole engagement
this day was more a pursuit than a battle.  On the 31st of July, the
Spaniards, who had attempted to regain Calais Roads, were driven towards
the coast of Zealand, when, the wind favouring them just as they were
almost on the shoals, their admiral came to the resolution of returning
home round the northern end of the British Isles, and making all sail,
they steered the course proposed, throwing overboard their horses and
mules, and everything that could impede their progress.  Lord Howard,
leaving Lord Henry Seymour with a squadron to assist the Dutch in
blockading the Duke of Parma, sent Admiral Winter with another into the
narrow seas to guard the coast, while he himself pursued the Spaniards.
Many more were lost in their hurried flight; some were wrecked on the
coast of Scotland, and others on the Shetland and Orkney Islands.  Those
who landed in Scotland were brought to Edinburgh, to the number of 500,
where they were mercifully treated; but nearly thirty ships were cast
away on the Irish coast, where nearly all their crews, to the number of
several thousands, who escaped drowning, were put to death by the
inhabitants.  About fifty-four ships alone of this mighty Armada
returned to Spain, and of those who had embarked upwards of 20,000 men
had perished.  Not a family in Spain but had lost a relative, though
King Philip, in a vain endeavour to conceal his rage and disappointment,
forbade any persons to wear mourning.

The encouragement given to maritime adventure raised up a host of
gallant seamen and explorers, whose names became renowned for their
exploits, and who carried the flag of England into all quarters of the
globe.  Perhaps of these the most celebrated was Sir Francis Drake, who,
having performed numerous daring exploits in the West Indies, sailed
round the world, and returned to England, his ship laden with the booty
he had taken from the Spaniards; good Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who, after
making many discoveries, sank with all his crew off the coast of
Newfoundland; Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Richard Grenville, Sir John
Hawkins, and a host of others.

Among other expeditions was one intended for the South Seas, under the
command of the Earl of Cumberland, who, at his own charge, fitted out
three ships and a pinnace--namely, the _Red Dragon_, of 160 tons and 130
men; the _Clifford_, of 30 tons and 70 men; and the _Rose_ and the
_Dorothy_.  Having touched on the African coast, they crossed over to
South America, where they took two Portuguese ships, one of which had
forty-five negroes on board, while the only riches in the other, besides
slaves and friars, were beads and other spiritual trinkets, and the
furniture designed for a new monastery.  Several other prizes were made,
when, without attempting to reach the Pacific, they returned to England.
While numerous English vessels were cruising on the coasts of Old
Spain, and destroying its trade and navigation, Thomas Cavendish was
despatched with a small squadron to do the like on the coast of New
Spain.  He carried out his instructions, crossing the South Seas to the
Philippines, and afterwards visiting China, having taken on his way many
of the ships of the enemy.

To Sir John Hawkins the navy is indebted for the institution of that
noble fund the Chest at Chatham, to which, also, Sir Francis Drake
contributed considerably.  Elizabeth, determined to retaliate on the
Spaniards, fitted out a fleet in the following spring of 146 sail, which
destroyed Corunna and Vigo, as well as the Castle of Cascacs at the
mouth of the Tagus, and captured sixty large ships.  In 1590 the queen
allotted 8790 pounds a-year for the repairs of the Royal Navy; a sum
which would go but a short way at the present day in building a single

About this time the telescope was invented by Janssen, a spectacle-maker
of Middleburgh, in Zealand.  Hearing of it, Galileo immediately
constructed his first _very_ imperfect instrument, which magnified only
three times.  Further experiments enabled him to construct another with
a power of eight, and ultimately, sparing neither labour nor expense, he
formed one which bore a magnifying power of more than thirty times.
With this instrument, he commenced that survey of the heavenly bodies
which rendered his name famous as the first of astronomers.  In the
reign of Charles the Second, in 1671, Sir Isaac Newton constructed his
first reflecting telescope, a small ill-made instrument, nine inches
only in length--valuable as it was, a pigmy in power compared to Lord
Rosse's six-feet reflector of sixty feet in length.  Torricelli, the
pupil of Galileo, invented the barometer.

In 1591 the first voyage to the East Indies was undertaken by Captain
Lancaster, in three ships.  One was sent back with invalids, another was
lost with all on board, and the crew of the captain's ship mutinied
while he was on shore on an uninhabited island, and ran off with her,
leaving him and his companions for three years, till they were rescued.

Among the brave admirals of this period, one of the most gallant was Sir
Richard Grenville, who, after serving his country for many years, sailed
in the _Revenge_ as Vice-Admiral to Lord Admiral Howard, in 1591, in
search of the Spanish West India merchant-fleet, with a squadron of six
men-of-war, six victuallers, and a few pinnaces.  The English squadron
was at anchor near the island of Flores, when the admiral received
intelligence of the approaching Spanish fleet.  He was in no condition
to oppose the Spaniards, for, besides being greatly inferior in numbers,
nearly half the men were disabled by the scurvy, a large proportion of
whom were on shore.  The admiral immediately weighed and put to sea, and
the rest of his squadron followed his example.  Sir Richard Grenville,
however, remaining to receive the sick men, was the last to weigh.  The
admiral and the rest of the fleet with difficulty recovered the wind,
but Sir Richard, not being able to do this, was advised by his master to
set his mainsail and coast about, trusting to the sailing of his ship.
As the Spanish squadron was already on his weather-gage, Sir Richard
utterly refused to fly from the enemy, declaring that he would rather
die than dishonour Her Majesty's ship, persuading his company that he
would pass through the two squadrons in spite of them.  Standing for the
Spaniards, he compelled several of them to spring their luff, who thus
fell under the lee of the _Revenge_.  Meanwhile, as he was engaging
those nearest to him, an enormous Spanish ship, the great _San Philip_,
of 1500 tons, being to windward, and bearing down upon him, becalmed his
sails, so that his ship could neither make way nor feel the helm.  This
enormous ship now laid the _Revenge_ aboard; while she was thus
becalmed, the ships under her lee luffing up, also laid her aboard, one
of them the Spanish admiral's ship, mighty and puissant, two on her
larboard, and two on her starboard side.  The fight, which began at
three o'clock in the afternoon, continued very terrible all that
evening.  The great _San Philip_, however, having received the broadside
of the _Revenge_, discharged with cross-bar shot, shifted herself with
all diligence from her sides, utterly misliking her first entertainment.
The Spanish ships were filled with companies of soldiers, in some 200,
in others 800, while the _Revenge_ had no soldiers, besides the
mariners, but the officers' servants and a few volunteers.  After a long
interchange of broadsides, and small shot, the Spaniards attempted to
board the _Revenge_, hoping by the multitudes of their armed soldiers
and musqueteers to force her, but were repulsed again and again, and
driven back into their own ships or into the sea.  In the beginning of
the fight a victualler, the _George Noble_, of London, after receiving
some shot, fell under the lee of the Revenge, and asked Sir Richard what
he commanded him to do.  Sir Richard bade him save himself, and leave
him to his fortune.  After the fight had continued without intermission
while the day lasted and some hours of the night, many of the English
were slain and wounded, the great galleon had been sunk, while terrific
slaughter had been made on board the other Spanish ships.  About
midnight Sir Richard was struck by a musket-ball; while the surgeon was
dressing his wound, he was again shot in the head, the surgeon being
killed at the same moment.

The first ships which had attacked the _Revenge_ having been beaten off,
others took their places, so that she had never less than two mighty
galleons by her sides, and before morning she had fifteen other ships
assailing her; and so ill did they approve of their entertainment that
by break of day they were far more willing to hearken to a composition
than again to attack her.  But as the day increased, so did the gallant
crew decrease; no friends appeared in sight, only enemies, saving only
one small ship called the _Pilgrim_, commanded by Jacob Widdon.  He
deserves to be handed down to fame, for he hovered near all night in the
hopes of helping the admiral, but in the morning, bearing away, was
hunted like a hare among many ravenous hounds; but, happily, he escaped.

By this time all the powder of the _Revenge_ except the last barrel was
spent, her pikes broken, forty of her best men slain, and the most part
of the rest hurt.  At the commencement she had had but a hundred free
from sickness, and ninety lay in the hold upon the ballast.  By this
hundred was sustained all the volleys and boardings of fifteen ships of
war.  Sir Richard finding himself helpless, and convinced that his ship
must fall a prey to the enemy who now circled round him, proposed to the
master-gunner, whom he knew to be a most resolute man, to expend their
last barrel of powder by blowing up the ship and sinking her, that
thereby the Spaniards might lose the glory of a victory.  The
master-gunner readily consented, and so did divers others, but the
captain and master were of another opinion, alleging that the Spaniards
would be ready for a compromise, and that there were many valiant men
yet living who might do their country acceptable service hereafter--
besides which, as the ship had already six-feet of water in the hold,
and three shot-holes under water, which were so weakly stopped that by
the first working of the ship she must needs sink, she would never get
into port.  Sir Richard refusing to hearken to these reasons, the
captain went on board the ship of the Spanish admiral, Don Alfonso
Bacan, who promised that the lives of all should be preserved, that the
ship's company should be sent to England, the officers to pay a
reasonable ransom, and in the meantime to be free from the galleys or

From the report which the admiral received, no one showed any
inclination to return on board the _Revenge_, lest Sir Richard should
blow himself and them up together.  On this news being returned, the
greater part of the crew, the master-gunner excepted, drew back from Sir
Richard, it being no hard matter to dissuade men from death to life.
The master-gunner finding himself and Sir Richard thus prevented and
mastered by the greater number, would have slain himself with the sword,
had he not by force been withheld, and locked into his cabin.  The
Spanish admiral then sent many boats on board the _Revenge_, the English
crew, fearing Sir Richard would still carry out his intention, stealing
away on board the Spanish ships.  Sir Richard, thus overmatched, was
sent unto by Don Alfonso Bacan to remove out of the _Revenge_, the ship
being marvellous unsavoury, filled with bodies of dead and wounded men,
like a slaughter-house.  Sir Richard answered that he might do with his
body as he list, for he esteemed it not.  As he was carried out of the
ship he swooned; on reviving again, he desired the ship's company to
pray for him.

Don Alfonso used Sir Richard with all humanity, and left nothing
unattempted that tended to his recovery, highly commending his valour
and worthiness, and greatly bewailing the danger wherein he was, while
he admired the resolution which had enabled the English admiral to
endure the fire of so many huge ships, and to resist the assaults of so
many soldiers.  During the fight two Spanish captains and no less than a
thousand men were either killed or drowned, while two large ships were
sunk by her side, another sunk in the harbour, and a fourth ran herself
on shore to save her crew.  Greatly to the regret of the Spanish
admiral, the gallant Sir Richard died three days after the action; but
whether he was buried at sea or on shore is unknown.  His last memorable
words were: "Here die I, Richard Grenville, with a joyful and quiet
mind, for that I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do,
fighting for his country, queen, religion, and honour, my soul willingly
departing from this body, leaving behind a lasting fame of having
behaved as every valiant soldier is in duty bound to do."

A storm coming on soon afterwards, the _Revenge_, as had been expected,
went to the bottom, while fifteen Spanish men-of-war were cast away, as
were many of the merchantmen; so that of the whole fleet, which
originally amounted to upwards of a hundred, seventy were lost.  While
the English sailors were scattered among the Spanish fleet, they
received a visit from a traitor, one of the Earl of Desmond's family,
who endeavoured to persuade them to serve the King of Spain, but in most
cases without success.  In 1592 an expedition was fitted out by Sir
Walter Raleigh, consisting of several queen's ships and some of his own,
with which he intended to attack Carthagena and other places in the West
Indies; but as he was about to sail, he was superseded in the command by
Sir Martin Frobisher, the queen wishing to retain him in England.  Sir
Martin was directed to proceed only to the coast of Spain, where he
captured a large Portuguese carrack, which, to escape the English, ran
on shore, and was burned by her people after the goods had been landed;
but the English following made themselves masters of a large part of the
booty and of the town of Santa Cruz.  After waiting patiently for some
weeks, another still larger carrack, called the _Madre de Dios_ hove in
sight.  Though the Portuguese fought bravely to defend her, she was
captured in the space of an hour and a-half.  On going on board, the
English, after hunting about for plunder, each man with a lighted candle
in his hand, a cabin was entered in which there was a quantity of
powder.  The carrack was set on fire, and had it not been for the
courage of Captain Norton, both the plundered and the plunderers would
have been blown together into the air.  The carrack, which was brought
home in safety, was larger than any man-of-war or merchantman belonging
to England.  She was of 1600 tons burden, and measuring from the
beak-head to the stern, on which was erected a large lantern, she was
165 feet in length.  Her greatest beam was 46 feet 10 inches.  On
leaving Cochin China she had drawn 31 feet of water, but on her arrival
at Dartmouth she drew only 26.  She had seven decks--one main or
sleeping, three close decks, one forecastle, and a spar deck of two
floors.  The length of her keel was 100 feet, and of the main-mast 121
feet; the main-yard was 106 feet long.  She carried between 600 and 700
persons, and considering the length of the voyage, the large amount of
provisions can be calculated.  She carried fully 900 tons of cargo,
consisting of jewels, spices, drugs, silks, calicoes, quilts, carpets,
and colours, as also elephants' teeth, porcelain vessels and china,
cocoa-nuts, hides, ebony, bedsteads of the same, cloths made from the
rinds of trees, probably of the paper-mulberry tree; the whole valued at
not less than 150,000 pounds sterling.  This shows that a
merchant-vessel of those days was not much less in size than an East
Indiaman of late years.

On the death of Elizabeth, the navy consisted of forty-two ships--two
only, however, of a thousand tons each, though there were several of 800
and 900 tons; but the greater number were much under that size, being of
about 400 tons and less.  The larger ships carried 340 mariners, 40
gunners, and 120 soldiers.

A sketch of the history of privateering, which, during the reign of
Elizabeth, grew into vast proportions, must not be omitted.  The fearful
atrocities committed by the Spaniards on the inhabitants of the Low
Countries naturally created the utmost horror in the breasts of the
Protestants of England against them.  Large numbers of the Dutch and
Flemish escaping to England from their persecutors, and spreading
everywhere the account of the barbarities their countrymen had endured,
further increased this feeling, till it extended over the length and
breadth of the land, but especially among the people of the sea-ports,
where many of the fugitives took up their abodes.  When, therefore, an
English shipowner, Clark by name, proposed fitting out a squadron of
three ships to cruise against the merchant-vessels of that nation, who,
in their bigoted zeal, had vowed to stamp out the Protestant faith, not
only in the countries subject to their rule, but in England herself,
there was no lack of volunteers.  Those who were not influenced by
religious feelings, were so by the hope of filling their pockets with
Spanish gold.  When Clark's squadron, after a cruise of six weeks,
returned into Newhaven with eighteen prizes, their cargoes valued at
50,000 pounds, applications from all quarters were made to the queen for
letters of marque which would enable ships legally to carry on war
against the enemy.

At the period of Elizabeth's accession, owing to the treachery as much
as to the supineness of her predecessor, of the Royal Navy which had
been created by Henry the Eighth, only twenty-three vessels of war, few
of them of more than 600 tons burden, remained.  There was one only of
800, one of 700, a few being above 200, while the remainder were sloops
or other small craft.  The Government had therefore to depend chiefly on
private ships in the war with France, and the expected struggle of far
greater magnitude with Spain.  Numerous English subjects had also
suffered from the Spanish Inquisition, and Englishmen of rank and wealth
considered that they were justified in retaliating on the authors of the
cruelties practised on their own countrymen.  From every port and river
vessels fitted out as traders went forth heavily armed to plunder on the
high seas any of the ships of the common enemy of mankind with which
they could fall in.  At first the bold privateersmen confined themselves
to the narrow seas, pouncing down upon any Spanish ship which approached
their shores, either driven in thither by the wind, or compelled to seek
shelter by stress of weather.  Many a trader from Antwerp to Cadiz
mysteriously disappeared, or, arriving without her cargo, reported that
she had been set upon by a powerful craft, when, boats coming out from
the English shore, she had been quickly unladen, her crew glad to escape
with their lives.  The Scilly Islands especially afforded shelter to a
squadron of vessels under Sir Thomas Seymour, who, sailing forth into
the chops of the channel, laid wait for any richly-laden craft he might
happen to espy.  Among other men of rank who thus distinguished
themselves were the sons of Lord Chobham.  Influenced by that hatred of
Roman abominations which had long been the characteristic of their
family, Thomas Chobham, the most daring of the brothers, had established
himself in a strongly-fortified port in the south of Ireland, from
whence, sailing forth with his stout ships, he attacked the Spaniards on
their own coasts.  Coming in sight of a large ship in the channel, laden
with a cargo valued at 80,000 ducats, and having on board forty
prisoners doomed to serve in the galleys, he chased her into the Bay of
Biscay, where, at length coming up with her, he compelled her to strike,
when he released the prisoners, and transferred the cargo to his own
ship.  The Spaniards declare that he sewed up all the survivors of the
crew in their own sails and hove them overboard; but as the story rests
on no better authority than that of the Spaniards themselves, we may be
excused from giving it credence.  The stories of the cruelties practised
by the Spaniards on their prisoners are too well authenticated to be
doubted.  The men who could be guilty of one-tenth part of the horrors
they compelled their fellow-subjects in the Netherlands to endure, or
those inflicted on the hapless Indians of America, were capable of any
conceivable cruelty.

Petitions upon petitions poured in on the queen from those whose
fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons had been put to death, or were
still groaning in the Spanish Inquisition, or in other prisons, both in
the old and new worlds.  Dorothy Seely, whose husband was among them,
entreats that she and the friends of such of Her Majesty's subjects "as
be there imprisoned, inflicted, and tormented beyond all reason, may be
allowed to fit out certain ships for the sea at their own proper
charges, and to capture such inquisitors or other papistical subjects of
the King of Spain as they can take by sea or land, and to retain them in
prison in England with such torment and diet as Her Majesty's subjects
had suffered in Spain."

To strengthen this petition, it is stated "that not long since the
Spanish Inquisition executed sixty persons of Saint Malo, in France,
whereupon the Frenchmen, having armed and manned their pinnaces, lay in
wait for the Spaniards, and took a hundred and beheaded them, sending
the Spanish ships to the shore with the heads, leaving in each ship only
one man to relate the cause of the revenge--since which time the Spanish
Inquisition has never meddled with those of Saint Malo."

Froude tells us that one of the French rovers, commanded by Jacques
Leclerc, called by the Spaniards Pie de Palo--"timber leg"--sailed from
Havre, and captured a Portuguese vessel worth 40,000 ducats, as well as
a Biscayan ship laden with iron and wool, and afterwards chased another
papist ship into Falmouth, where he fired into her and drove her on
shore.  The captain of the Spaniard appealed for protection to the
governor of Pendennis, but the governor replied that the privateer was
properly commissioned, and that without special orders from the queen he
could not interfere.  Pie de Palo then took possession of her as a
prize, and afterwards anchored under shelter of Pendennis, waiting for
further good fortune.  As it was the depth of winter, and the weather
being unsettled, five Portuguese ships, a few days later, were driven in
for shelter.  Ascertaining the insecurity of their position, they
attempted to escape to sea again, but Pie de Palo dashed after them and
seized two of the five, which he brought back as prizes.  Philip
complained to the English Government of the robberies committed on his
subjects, and attempts were made to put a stop to these proceedings.  A
few of the rovers were captured, but were very quickly set at liberty
again, and the privateers swarmed everywhere in still increasing
numbers.  In truth, Cecil, who knew perfectly well what were the
ultimate aims of Philip, had no wish to damp the ardour and enterprise
of his countrymen.

Not content with the booty they obtained in the narrow seas, the
privateers, often in large fleets, boldly traversed the ocean in search
of Spanish argosies in the West Indies and on the Spanish main.  Drake,
Hawkins, and Cavendish were among the foremost in these enterprises.
Whatever may be thought of their proceedings at the present day, their
example tended to foster that courage, perseverance, and indifference to
danger characteristic of British seamen.

The King of Spain having granted letters of reprisals to his subjects,
especially to cruise in the Levant and the Mediterranean, the Turkey
merchants fitted out five stout ships with letters of marque, to provide
for their defence--the _Royal Merchant_, the _Toby_, the _Edward
Bonadventure_, the _William_, and the _John_.  While up the Levant they
were informed that the Spaniards had fitted out two fleets, one of
twenty and another of thirty galleys, to intercept them.  On this, Mr
Williamson, captain of the _Royal Merchant_, was chosen admiral, and the
commander of the _Toby_, vice-admiral.  As they were sailing between
Sicily and the African coast, they descried seven galleys and two
frigates under Sicilian and Maltese colours, in the service of Spain,
the admiral of which ordered the pursers of the English ships to repair
on board his galley.  One alone, Mr Rowet, accompanied the messenger.
He was received in a haughty manner by the Spanish admiral, who insisted
on the surrender of the English ships.  On Mr Rowet's return, the
Spaniard signified his resolution by firing at the English, which was
immediately returned, when the engagement began.  The five English
merchant-vessels, though heavily laden, maintained an obstinate fight
for five hours, and so shattered were the Spanish ships-of-war, that the
admiral first, and then two others, were obliged to haul off, scarcely
able to keep above water.  The remainder not having men enough to man
their guns, soon after followed his example.  The English lost but two
men in this engagement, but their cargoes were too valuable to run any
risk by pursuing the enemy; they therefore made the best of their way to
England, where they arrived in safety, having, by favour of a thick fog
and a brisk easterly wind, escaped the other Spanish squadron, which had
waited for them off the Straits of Gibraltar.

The instructions in the articles of war drawn up by the Lord High
Admiral, to be observed by the captains and crews of the ships of the
Royal Navy, prove that it was expected that the seamen of those days
should be pious and well-conducted men.  They were to be openly read at
service time, twice every week.

"Imprimis, That you take special care to serve God by using common
prayers twice every day, except urgent cause enforce the contrary; and
that no man, soldier, or other mariner do dispute of matters of
religion, unless it be to be resolved of some doubts, and in such case
that he confer with the ministers."

"Second, Item, you shall forbid swearing, brawling, and dicing, and
such-like disorders as may breed contention and disorders in your

"Five, All persons, whatsoever, within your ship shall come to the
ordinary services of the ship without contradiction."

"Sixth, You shall give special charge for avoiding the danger of fire,
and that no candle be carried in your ship without a lantern, which, if
any person shall disobey, you shall severely punish.  And if any chance
of fire or other dangers (which God forbid) shall happen to any ship
near unto you, then you shall, by your boats and all other your best
means, seek to help and relieve her."

"Eighth, You shall give order that your ship may be kept clean daily and
sometimes washed, which, with God's favour, shall preserve from
sickness, and avoid many other inconveniences."

"Fifteenth, Every captain and master of the fleet shall have a special
regard that no contention be found betwixt the mariners and the

"Nineteenth, No captain or master shall suffer any spoil to be made
aboard any ship or barque that shall be taken by them or any of their
companies, because the rest of the company have interest in everything
that shall be taken."

"Twenty-second, The watch shall be set every night by eight of the
o'clock, either by trumpet or drum, and singing the Lord's Prayer, some
of the Psalms of David, or clearing of the glass."

"Twenty-sixth, No person shall depart out of the ship wherein he is
placed into another without special leave of his captain."

"Twenty-eighth, No person whatsoever shall dare to strike any captain,
lieutenant, master, or other officer, upon pain of death; and
furthermore, whatsoever he be that shall strike any inferior person, he
shall receive punishment according to the offence given, be it by death
or otherwise."

Most of these articles are still in force; but the first, excellent as
they are, have unhappily too often been set at nought by officers and



As James the First was totally unacquainted with nautical affairs,
having possessed no fleet when King of Scotland, disputes constantly
arose respecting the honour of the flag, which the English claimed, and
this induced the famous Hugo Grotius to write a treatise, in which he
endeavoured to prove the futility of their title to the dominion of the
sea.  England, however, still maintained her right to be saluted by the
ships of all other nations, and the learned Selden supported the
English, asserting that they had a hereditary and uninterrupted right to
the sovereignty of the seas, conveyed to them by their ancestors in
trust for their latest posterity.  During this period numerous colonies
were settled, and the commerce of England extended in all directions by
her brave navigators.  The navy was not neglected, twenty ships being
added by the king, and 50,000 pounds voted for the maintenance of the
fleet.  In the year 1610 the largest ship of war yet constructed in
England was built by order of the king, and called the _Prince_.  Her
keel was 114 feet, her cross-beam was 44 feet in length.  She carried
sixty-four pieces of great ordnance, and she was of the burden of 1400
tons.  She was double built, and adorned most sumptuously within and
without with all manner of curious carving, painting, and rich gilding,
being in all respects the greatest and goodliest ship that ever was
built in England.  Raleigh's remarks to Prince Henry on the subject are
worthy of note, though it appears his advice was not followed.  He
recommended that the intended vessel should be of smaller size than the
_Victory_, in order that the timber of the old ship might serve for the
new.  "If she be bigger," he remarks, "she will be of less use, go very
deep to water, and be of mighty charge (our channels decaying every
year), less nimble, less manageable, and seldom to be used.  A
well-conditioned ship should be, in the first instance, strongly built;
secondly, swift in sail; thirdly, stout sided; fourthly, her ports ought
to be so laid that she may carry out her guns in all weathers; fifthly,
she ought to hull well; sixthly, she should stay well when boarding or
turning on a wind if required."  He then continues: "It is to be noted
that all ships sharp before, not having a long floor, will fall rough
into the sea from the billow, and take in water over head and ears; and
the same quality of all narrow-quartered ships to sink after the tail.
The high charging of ships is that which brings many ill qualities upon
them.  It makes them extremely leeward, makes them sink deep into the
seas, makes them labour in foul weather, and ofttimes overset.  Safety
is more to be respected than show or niceness for ease.  In sea-journeys
both cannot well stand together, and, therefore, the most necessary is
to be chosen.  Two decks and a-half is enough, and no building at all
above that but a low master's cabin.  Our masters and mariners will say
that the ships will bear more well enough; and true it is, if none but
old mariners served in them.  But men of better sort, unused to such a
life, cannot so well endure the rolling and tumbling from side to side,
where the seas are never so little grown, which comes by high charging.
Besides, those high cabin-works aloft are very dangerous, in that they
may tear men with their splinters.  Above all other things, have care
that the great guns are four feet clear above water when all loading is
in, or else those best pieces are idle at sea; for if the ports lie
lower and be open, it is dangerous; and by that default was a goodly
ship and many gallant gentlemen lost in the days of Henry the Eighth,
before the Isle of Wight, in a ship called the _Mary Rose_."

These remarks show how attentively Raleigh had studied the subject of
shipbuilding and, undoubtedly, during his time great improvements were
made in the construction of ships of the Royal Navy.  A large East India
ship of 1200 tons was also built at Woolwich, and was the first trading
ship of that size launched in the kingdom.  The king called her the
_Trade's Increase_.

In 1622 the first established contract for victualling the Royal Navy
was made, and every man's allowance settled.  It appears not to have
differed greatly from that served out at the present day, except that on
Friday fish, butter, and cheese were served out; showing that the Romish
custom of what is called fasting on Friday had not been abolished.  The
king also gave annually 30,000 pounds worth of timber from the royal
forests for the use of the navy.

The Dutch and other nations had, up to this time, been in the habit of
fishing in English waters, but, though the pusillanimous king would not,
of his own accord, have interfered for fear of giving offence, so great
an outcry was raised by the people, that he was compelled to issue a
proclamation prohibiting any foreigners from fishing on the British
coast.  Though in terms it appeared general, it was in reality levelled
only at the Dutch.  They yielded, and obtained by treaty permission to
fish, on payment of certain dues.  The nation at large gaining a voice
in the management of public affairs, discovered also that vast abuses
existed in the administration of the navy, as the large sums granted by
Parliament were squandered, the brave commanders were unemployed, and
cowardice trusted with the highest offices; and that frauds, corruption,
neglect and misdemeanours were frequent and open.  Numberless petitions
were sent to the sovereign, and a committee of inquiry was appointed;
the alleged offences were strictly examined into, some of the culprits
were discharged, others fined, and way made for better officers.  The
Royal Navy being thus placed on a more respectable footing, the spirit
of enterprise was encouraged among private persons, and trade once more

Considerable progress was made by the East India Company, and, in 1610,
Sir Henry Middleton sailed with a larger fleet than had ever before been
despatched to that part of the world.  On landing at Mocha, Sir Henry
was treacherously attacked during an entertainment to which he had been
invited, when many of his people were killed, and he and the rest made
prisoners.  After remaining six months in prison, he and some of his
people escaped and regained their ships; then, returning to the town, he
threatened to reduce it to ashes unless the remainder of the English
were released and a heavy ransom paid him.  On this the English were set
at liberty, and the sum was paid.  He afterwards encountered a large
fleet of Portuguese, who, attempting to impede his progress, he sank
some and captured others.  Several Portuguese ships were captured, and
seventeen Arab vessels also fell into the hands of the English.  On his
voyage home, seized with a mortal illness, he died, honoured and

About the same time Captain Hudson, who had already performed three
voyages to the north, again sailed in search of a north-west passage;
but his mate, Ibbott, fearing the dangers they would have to encounter,
formed a conspiracy.  Hudson, and those who adhered to him, were set on
shore, and perished miserably.

In 1611 the East India Company sent out another fleet under Captain
Hippin, and the following year a second under Captain Saris, who reached
Japan.  By judicious conduct, and the due administration of bribes to
many persons nearest the emperor, he succeeded in establishing a trade
for the English with Japan, returning home with a very profitable cargo.

In the year 1611 the Muscovy Company despatched two vessels to commence
the whale fishery.  On board these vessels went three Biscayans who were
accustomed to the business.  Having set sail late, they had only time to
catch one whale, but from it were made seven tons of oil.  The rest of
the crew having observed the manner in which the Biscayans performed the
work, became thorough masters of the operation.  Though this
commencement was but small, it led to great results, and from
henceforward there was no want of people ready to enter into the

In consequence of the account given by those who were wrecked in the
_Sea Venture_ on the Bermudas, a colony was sent out, and the hitherto
desolate islands were peopled by English settlers.

One of the most gallant exploits of this period was performed by Captain
Best, who sailed in command of a fleet sent out by the East India
Company.  After remaining for some time at Surat, he caught sight of a
vast fleet of Portuguese, numbering no less than 240 vessels.  Having
beaten off a number of them that attacked him, he continued his course.
They, however, having repaired damages, the whole fleet came in search
of him.  As they bore down under a cloud of sail, threatening his
destruction, he was advised by one of the Sultan's principal officers to
fly.  Best replied that he would advise that to the Portuguese, and,
weighing anchor, stood out to meet the enemy.  The shore was crowded
with natives eager to witness the engagement.  It ended, after four
hours, as the other had done.  The Portuguese, after receiving immense
damage, sailed away as fast as they could, and Captain Best returned and
anchored in the harbour, amid the shouts of the people.  The account of
the engagement was everywhere told among the natives, and the courage of
the English magnified to the highest.  After touching at Achin, and
renewing his friendship with the people, in the succeeding year, he
arrived in England, rich in his lading, more in honour.

In the year 1613 the Muscovy Company sent out seven stout ships to catch
whales.  They were followed by several Dutch, Flemish, and French ships,
and half-a-dozen English interlopers.  The Company's ships gathering
into a body, ordered the others, in the name of the King of England, to
depart from the coast, the fishery of which he had appropriated to his
own subjects.  The Dutch sending a taunting answer, the English replied
with their cannon, compelling their rivals to take their departure, and
the English private ships to fish for them.  With this help, they made a
good return.

In 1614 the celebrated pirate Sir Andrew Barton, with two ships, laid
the coasts of England and Scotland under contribution.  Two ships of
war, under the command of Sir William Monson and Sir Francis Howard,
were sent out to effect their capture.  One of them was taken off
Sinclair Castle, the seat of the Earl of Caithness.  Sir Andrew for long
managed to keep at a distance from his pursuers, having friends in
various places, especially in Ireland, who gave him assistance.  Among
others was a certain Mr Cormat, who treacherously betrayed the Scotch
pirate into the hands of Sir William Monson.  His ship was captured, and
he, with two or three of his officers, executed.

Considerable progress at this period was made in the science of
navigation.  In the year 1624 Mr Gunter, professor of astronomy at
Gresham College, Cambridge, published his scale of logarithms, sines,
etcetera, and invented the scale which has since gone by his name.

No darker stain rests on the memory of James than that of his judicial
murder of Sir Walter Raleigh.  Influenced by his evil councillors, the
pusillanimous king offered up the gallant seaman as a sacrifice to the
revengeful Spaniards, or rather to their ambassador, Gondomar.  Cheerful
to the last, the noble Raleigh bade farewell to all around him; then,
taking the axe, he felt along upon the edge, and smiling, said to the
sheriff, "This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all
diseases."  On being asked which way he would lay himself, he placed his
head on the block, observing, "So that the heart be right, it is no
matter which way the head lieth."

Some lines written on Sir Walter's death thus finish:--

  "I saw in every stander-by
  Pale death; life only in thine eye.
  The legacy thou gavest us then
  We'll sue for when thou diest again.
  Farewell! truth shall this story say,
  We died, thou only livedst that day."

Such was the end of the great Sir Walter Raleigh, once so highly in
favour with Queen Elizabeth, and, next to Drake, the great scourge and
terror of the Spaniards.

The Algerines were then, as they were for many years afterwards, the
pests of the ocean.  Their chief cruising ground was in the Straits of
Gibraltar.  Numerous English merchantmen fell into their clutches.  The
same determined spirit, however, which has since been exhibited by
British seamen, existed in those days, and induced, on several
occasions, the captives to make gallant efforts to effect their escape.
Among these instances two are especially worthy of note.

The _Jacob_, of Bristol, was entering the straits when she was pounced
upon by an Algerine and captured.  The pirates took all the crew out of
her with the exception of four, and sent thirteen of their own people on
board to bring her to Algiers.  Four of the captives, knowing the
terrible slavery to which they would be subjected should they reach
Algiers, resolved to attempt the recapture of their vessel.  Happily for
them, on the fifth night after they had been taken, a heavy gale sprang
up.  While the Algerine captain was assisting his followers to shorten
sail, two of the English, who had been liberated that they might lend a
hand, coming suddenly upon him hove him overboard.  Having got hold of a
rope which was towing astern, he had almost regained the deck, when one
of the Englishmen drove him back with the pump-handle, the act being,
fortunately, unobserved during the darkness and confusion by the rest of
the pirates.  This done, they made their way into the master's cabin,
where they found two cutlasses, with which suddenly attacking the
pirates, they drove them from one part of the ship to the other, killed
two, and made a third leap overboard.  The other nine they drove between
decks, when they forced the hatches down upon them.  Making use of two
or three of the Algerines at a time, as they required them for making or
shortening sail, they carried the ship triumphantly into Saint Luca, in
Spain, where the Algerines were sold for slaves.  At the same time the
_Nicholas_, of Plymouth, of 40 tons burden, commanded by John Rawlins,
and the _Bonaventure_ of 70 tons, were bound out together up the
straits.  On the 18th of November they came in sight of Gibraltar, when
they discovered five ships, which they soon perceived to be pirates,
making all sail towards them.  In vain they attempted to reach
Gibraltar; the Algerines coming up with the _Bonaventure_, she was
captured by their admiral, while the vice-admiral soon afterwards
compelled Rawlins to strike.  The same day the admiral put on shore
twelve of the _Bonaventure's_ crew, with some other English captives
before taken, but the vice-admiral ordered Rawlins and five of his men
to be brought on board his vessel, leaving three men and a boy, with
thirteen Algerines, on board the prize.  The following night, during a
storm, the _Nicholas_ was lost sight of.  On the 22nd the vice-admiral,
with Rawlins on board, arrived at Algiers.  A few days afterwards the
_Nicholas_ arrived, when the prisoners were carried to the pacha, who,
having chosen one of them for himself, the rest were afterwards sent to
the market to be sold.  Rawlins was bought by the captain, who took him
at a low price because he had a lame hand, but perceiving that this
rendered him unfit for work, sold him again, with two more of his men,
to an English renegado, John Goodhall, who, with his partners, had
bought the _Exchange_, of Bristol, a ship formerly taken by the pirates,
which at that time lay unrigged inside the mole, and for which they
wanted some skilful seamen.  On the 7th of January, 1622, the ship,
being fitted, was hauled out of the mole.  She carried twelve cast guns,
with a crew of sixty-three Algerines, nine Englishmen, one Frenchmen,
and four Hollanders, all freemen; and for gunners, she had two soldiers,
one an English and the other a Dutch renegado.  Rawlins, from the first
going on board, resolved to attempt regaining his liberty.  For this
purpose he furnished himself with ropes and pieces of iron, and iron
crowbars to secure the scuttles, gratings, and cabins, and when, having
gained over the other Europeans, he hoped, by being masters of the
gun-room, ordnance, and powder, either to blow up their captors or to
kill them as they came out of their cabins.  He first made known his
design to the English, and by degrees won over the four Hollanders, who
offered to join them and gain the assistance of the Dutch renegadoes,
while the English undertook to obtain the assistance of the renegado of
their own nation.  During this time Rawlins, who was acting as
sailing-master, persuaded the Algerine captain to steer to the
northward, though he knew very well that they had already passed the
straits.  On the 16th of February they took an English barque from
Torbay, laden with salt.  With the exception of the mate and two men,
the crew were removed from the prize, and ten Algerines, with the Dutch
and one English renegado, who were all in the plot, were sent on board
instead.  Before they left the _Exchange_, Rawlins assured them that he
would make his attempt that night or the next, and give them a signal by
which they might know when he was about it, advising them to acquaint
the English in the barque with their design, and to steer towards the
English coast.  Next morning the Algerine captain got very much out of
humour in consequence of not seeing the prize; and Rawlins, fearing that
he might return to Algiers, thought it high time to put his plan into
execution.  He had already made the master and crew of the Torbay vessel
acquainted with it; he now told the Algerine captain that there was a
great deal of water below, and that it did not come to the pumps because
the ship was too far by the head.  For the purpose of remedying this an
order was issued to bring four guns astern; two of them were accordingly
placed with their mouths directly before the binnacle.  Rawlins had
already provided himself with sufficient powder, which he obtained from
the gunner, to prime the pieces.  He now assured the captain that in
order to right the ship all hands must work at the pumps.  While this
was doing, two matches were brought, one between two spoons, and the
other in a can, and immediately one of the guns being discharged, the
binnacle was shattered to pieces.  On this signal, all the English
collected together, and having seized such arms as they could lay hold
of quickly cleared the hold, while another party made themselves masters
of the magazine and arms.  The pirates, who were on the poop, now
attacked the English, who, being by this time all armed, compelled them
to cry for quarter.  They were ordered to come down one by one.  So
enraged were the English that several of the pirates were killed, while
others leaped into the sea.  Thus of forty-five Algerines who were on
board, the captain and five more alone were saved.  With these the
gallant Rawlins and his men arrived at Plymouth on the 15th of February,
1622.  The Torbay barque reached Penzance, in Cornwall, having all along
persuaded the Algerines that they were going to Algiers, till they came
in sight of England.  When the pirates were below trimming the salt,
they nailed the hatches down upon them.  Having come to an anchor, they
carried their captives to Exeter.



The unhappy Charles ascended the throne under disadvantageous
circumstances.  His father had left him a heavy debt; the Duke of
Buckingham, his chief minister, was universally hated, and England had
greatly sunk in the estimation of foreign nations.  James had agreed to
furnish the King of France with some ships of war to assist him against
the King of Spain or his allies in Italy.  In pursuance of this
agreement, Captain John Pennington was despatched in the _Vanguard_,
having under him six hired merchant-vessels.  The King of France,
however, being hotly engaged in a war with his Protestant subjects,
intended to make use of the ships for the reduction of Rochelle.
Pennington, on discovering this, immediately wrote to the Duke of
Buckingham declining so odious a service, and requesting leave to return
to England.  Buckingham, in reply, having obtained an order from
Charles, commanded him to employ his ships in such service as the King
of France should direct.  The latter, at the same time, sent a letter to
the English captain, requiring him to take on board a number of French
soldiers, with his admiral, the Duke of Montmorency, and repair before
Rochelle.  This Captain Pennington, with true English spirit, refused to
do; on which the French officer who had brought the letter returned on
board the _Vanguard_ to protest against him as a rebel to his king and
country.  Not content with having once done this, he returned again and
enforced his request by threats and menaces, at which the seamen were so
enraged, that they weighed anchor and set sail, crying out they would
rather be hanged at home than be slaves to the French, and fight against
their own religion.  The _Vanguard_ accordingly returned to the Downs.
On his arrival, the captain sending an express to court with advice of
his proceedings, immediately received a positive order, under the king's
sign-manual, to return and deliver up the ships into the hands of a
French officer at Dieppe.  Having complied with this order, he quitted
the command, and he and all the officers and seamen, both of the
_Vanguard_ and merchant-vessels, left their ships and returned to

The whole nation burned with indignation when they heard that Captain
Pennington's ships had been delivered up to the French and employed
against Rochelle, and demanded their immediate restitution.  The French
king excused himself on the pretence that his subjects, by whom they
were manned, would not now quit them; on which, to appease the people,
the Duke of Buckingham issued commissions of reprisal.  The _Saint
Peter_, of Havre-de-Grace, and other French vessels were on this
captured.  Hearing of this proceeding, the French king not only
absolutely refused to restore the seven ships, but seized on all the
English merchants' property throughout his dominions.  To carry on the
war with Spain a powerful fleet of eighty English and Dutch ships was
fitted out under the command of Cecil, afterwards created Viscount
Wimbleton.  Ten regiments were embarked on board the fleet, under the
Earls of Essex and Denbigh.  They proceeded to Cadiz, when the troops,
having broken into the wine-stores, became so excessively intoxicated,
that had the enemy set on them they must have been put to the sword.
The officers hastened, therefore, their re-embarkation, and the
expedition returned without having effected anything.

In 1627 three expeditions were undertaken, professedly to assist the
people of Rochelle, but, being badly managed, possibly through
treachery, they all failed.  It was while fitting out one of these
fleets that the Duke of Buckingham, then Lord High Admiral, was murdered
by Felton.

A severe action was fought near Ormuz, in the Gulf of Persia, between
four English ships, under the command of Captain John Weddell, and four
Dutch ships, with eight Portuguese galleons and thirty-two frigates.  On
hearing of the approach of the enemy, the English captain told his Dutch
allies that he had resolved, for the glory of God, the honour of his
nation, the profit of the worthy employers, and the safeguard of their
lives, ships, and goods, to fight it out as long as a man was living in
his ship to bear a sword.  To whom the Dutchmen answered that they were
of a like resolution, and would stick as close to the English as the
shirts to their backs; and so in friendly manner each took leave for
that night.  The Dutch the next morning were the first to get into
action.  Friends and foes were now within musket-shot of each other,
when it fell a calm, and the ships of the allies could not work but as
the tide set them.  When the Portuguese were aboard and aboard, they had
a great advantage with their frigates, which often towed them clear one
of another.  Thus they lay four or five hours pelting and beating one
another with their ordnance, while the Portuguese frigates plied the
English and Dutch with their small shot as fast as they could, the
_Royal James_ being forced to keep the barge ahead to pull the ship's
head to and fro.  Thus they fought on till night, several men being
killed, the Dutch having also lost their chief commander.  For several
days the fight lasted.  On one occasion the _James_ singled out a
Portuguese lying by her side with foresail and fore-topsail aback, so
near that a man might quoit a biscuit into her, and fired not less than
five hundred shots before she got clear.  Thus the small squadron kept
the enemy at bay, till scarcely enough powder and shot remained on board
the _Royal James_ for another day's fight.  The English lost 29 officers
and men, and the Dutch about the same number.  The Portuguese, whose
fleet carried 232 guns and 2100 men, had 481 killed.

Another fight in the same locality, in the year 1625, between three
English East India ships, the _Lion_, _Dolphin_, and _Palsgrave_, and
eighteen or twenty Portuguese frigates, under the command of Don Rufero,
ended more disastrously.  The _Lion_, being boarded by both the admiral
and vice-admiral, was dreadfully shattered, and torn in pieces in the
stem, in consequence of the poop blowing up with fifty or sixty of the
enemy on it.  The Portuguese then left her, expecting that she would
sink or burn down to the water's edge, and pursued the _Palsgrave_ and
_Dolphin_, which, however, effected their escape.  The brave crew of the
_Lion_, having put out the fire, succeeded in patching her up
sufficiently to reach Ormuz, where they received every assistance they
required from the Sultan.  They were in hopes of being relieved by other
English ships, when Rufero with his frigates came rowing towards them.
The _Lion_ lay in such a position that she could only bring her
chase-pieces to bear upon the enemy.  So well were they served that they
sank two of the Portuguese frigates before they could board her, and two
more after they were by her side.  So closely were the English then
pressed by Rufero that, unable to open a port in the ship, they were
forced to shoot away ports and all.  In addition to this, the Portuguese
so completely surrounded her by fire-works, that all her masts and sails
caught fire, as well as her upper-deck, which in half-an-hour fell down
on their heads, and drove them from their guns.  On seeing death on
either side, some leaped overboard, and put themselves on the mercy of
the enemy, while the rest set fire to the powder-room, and blew up the
ship.  Those who were received on board the frigates were carried into
Ormuz Island, and the next morning Rufero gave orders to cut off all
their heads, with the exception of one Thomas Winterbrune, whom he sent
with a letter to the merchants at Gambroon.  The rest, twenty-six
persons, were immediately beheaded.  This will give us some idea of the
mode of proceeding between belligerents in those days.  The object of
the Portuguese was to prevent the English and Dutch from interfering
with their trade, and they hoped by such horrible cruelty to intimidate
others from coming out, or else were actuated by a spirit of barbarous
revenge.  In 1626 the wages of seamen in the Royal Navy were increased
to twenty shillings a-month, and of ordinary seamen to fourteen
shillings, besides an allowance to a chaplain of fourpence, to a barber
twopence, and to the Chest at Chatham of sixpence per month.  A clerk
and a keeper of all the king's stores and storehouses at Chatham,
Portsmouth, Deptford, etcetera, were also appointed.

An arbitrary tax having been imposed in the year 1634, by the name of
ship-money, which compelled all the seaport towns to furnish a fleet to
prevent the Dutch fishing on the coast of Britain; it was now extended
throughout the whole kingdom.  The fleet was to consist of 44 ships,
carrying 8000 men, and to be armed and fitted for war; but, as will be
remembered, the unhappy king raised the money, but spent it on other

In 1637 was laid the keel of the _Royal Sovereign_, of 128 feet, the
first three-decked ship built for the Royal Navy.  From the fore-end of
the beak-head to the after-end of the stern she measured 232 feet, and
she had a beam of 48 feet, while from the bottom of the keel to the top
of the stern-lantern she measured 76 feet.  She carried 30 guns on her
lower-deck, 30 on the middle-deck, 26 on the main-deck, 14 on the
quarter-deck, 12 on the forecastle, and had 10 stern and bow-chasers.
She was of 1637 tons burden; she carried eleven anchors, the largest
weighing 4400 pounds; she had five stern-lanterns, the centre so large
as to contain ten persons upright.  She was built by Peter Pett, under
the inspection of Phineas Pett.

The French, at the same time, began to establish a regular marine,
having fifty ships and twenty galleys in their navy.  And now, for the
first time, was showed their superiority over the Spaniards, on which
Cardinal Richelieu ordered the following motto to be placed on the stern
of the largest: "Even on the main, our Gallic lilies triumph over

A fund was now established by the king for the relief of maimed and
shipwrecked or otherwise distressed sailors in the merchant-service, and
for the widows and children of such as should be killed or lost at sea.
To form it, sixpence per month was deducted from the pay of
sea-officers, and fourpence from all sailors' wages from the port of
London.  This fund was placed under the management of the Corporation of
the Trinity House.

In 1640 the first frigate, the _Constant Hardwick_, was built, under the
direction of Peter Pett.  The king added ten more ships to the Royal
Navy, which, at the commencement of the Civil War, consisted of
eighty-two sail.


We now come to that period when one of the greatest men who ever ruled
England was to raise her to the highest position among the nations of

Numerous engagements had taken place between the ships adhering to the
king, chiefly under the command of Prince Rupert, and those of the
Parliament, under Warwick, Dean, Popham, and Blake.  Blake
having finally dispersed Prince Rupert's ships, was appointed
commander-in-chief of the British fleet.  He was at first employed in
reducing the Scilly Islands and various places in the West Indies and
America, which still held out for the king.  On war breaking out with
the Dutch, he was summoned home to take command of the fleet sent
against them.  The Dutch had long been jealous of the commercial
progress made by the English, who everywhere interfered with their
trade, and they only now sought for an opportunity to break with their
ancient allies.  It was not long wanting.  England claiming the
sovereignty of the seas, insisted that the ships of other nations should
strike their flags whenever they met them.  On the 14th May, Captain
Young, the commander of an English man-of-war, fell in with a Dutch
squadron off the back of the Isle of Wight.  The Dutchman refused to
strike his flag, on which Captain Young, without further ado, fired a
broadside upon the Dutch commander's ship, which induced her to haul
down her flag.  This was the commencement of hostilities, which were
long carried on between the two nations--the Dutch, notwithstanding the
gallantry of Van Tromp, De Witt, De Ruyter, and other admirals, being in
most cases defeated by Blake, Penn, and other naval commanders.

Soon after this Admiral Van Tromp put to sea with a fleet of upwards of
forty sail, under pretence of protecting the Dutch trade.  He was met
coming into the Downs by a squadron, when he stated that he was
compelled to put in by stress of weather.  The English commander
immediately sent notice to Blake, who was lying off Dover.  Blake at
once sailed in search of Van Tromp, and on approaching, fired to put the
Dutchman in mind that it was his duty to strike his flag.  Blake
commenced the action with but fifteen ships, and with them, for four
hours, fought the Dutchmen till, late at night, he was joined by the
rest of his fleet.  By this time two Dutch ships had been taken and one
disabled, the English having lost none, when Van Tromp bore away and

In the Mediterranean, Commodore Bodley, in command of four English
ships, fought a gallant action against eight Dutch ships, commanded by
Admiral Van Galen.  The Dutchman laid the English commodore's ships
aboard, but having been thrice set on fire, he sheered off with much
loss.  The second ship, which then took her place, was also beaten off,
having lost her main-mast.  Two others next attacked the commodore, but
were defeated; though the English lost a hundred men, killed and
wounded.  The _Phoenix_, an English ship, had meantime boarded one of
the commodore's assailants and carried her, but was in turn boarded and
captured by another Dutch ship, and taken into Leghorn Roads.  Here
Captain Van Tromp took command of the _Phoenix_.  The Dutchmen, thinking
themselves secure, spent their time in mirth and jollity on shore, when
Captain Owen Cox, now serving in Commodore Platten's squadron, hearing
of what was going forward, manned three boats with thirty men in each.
In addition to their weapons, each man was provided with a bag of meal
to throw in the eyes of the Dutchmen.  Captain Cox pulled in during the
night, and got alongside the frigate at daylight.  The boats' crews had
each their appointed work; one had to cut the cables, the second had to
go aloft and loose the sails, while the third closed the hatches and
kept the crew in subjection.  Van Tromp was below, but hearing the
alarm, he rushed out of his cabin, and discharged his pistols at the
English, who were by that time masters of the frigate.  Finding that his
ship was captured, he leaped out of the cabin window, and swam safely to
a Dutch ship astern.  The _Phoenix_ was carried off in triumph, and
reached Naples in safety.  Of course, the Grand Duke of Tuscany
remonstrated, and ordered Commodore Flatten either to restore the
_Phoenix_ or to quit Leghorn; he was determined not to do the former,
and sending to Commodore Bodley, who was lying at Elba with his small
squadron, it was arranged he should come off the port, and draw the
Dutch away.  This he did.  Commodore Van Galen's squadron, at the time
lying off the port to intercept him, consisted of sixteen sail; while,
besides the _Alfred_, of 52 guns, he had only the _Bonaventure_, of 44
guns, the _Sampson_, of 36, the _Levant Merchant_, of 28, the _Pilgrim_
and _Mary_, of 30 guns.  He contrived, however, to let Commodore Bodley
know his position, who attempted to draw the Dutch off, and clear the
way for his squadron.  Van Galen, after chasing for some time,
perceiving Platten's squadron, returned to attack it.  During the action
which ensued, the _Bonaventure_ blew up, while Van Galen lost a leg from
a shot, of which wound he died.  Commodore Bodley's squadron having now
joined, the action became general.  Captain Cornelius Van Tromp, who
attacked the _Sampson_, was beaten off, but she was directly afterwards
destroyed by a fire-ship.  The _Alfred_, the _Levant Merchant_, and
_Pilgrim_ were all overpowered and taken, and the _Mary_ alone effected
her escaped, and joined the squadron of Commodore Bodley.

Another desperate action soon afterwards took place between the Dutch
and the English in the channel, the English having 105 ships, and the
Dutch 104.  The action had lasted about an hour when Admiral Dean, the
second in command, was cut in two by a cannon-shot.  Monk, the
commander-in-chief, seeing him fall, threw a cloak over his body to
conceal it from the seamen.  The ship of Van Kelson, the Dutch
rear-admiral, was blown up after this.  From eleven in the morning till
six in the evening the battle raged, when the Dutch endeavoured to
escape.  Blake joined the English fleet during the night, and pursued
them.  About noon the battle was renewed, and for four hours continued
to rage.  Van Tromp grappled Admiral Penn's ship, the _James_, and
attempted to board, but was repulsed, and was boarded in return.  The
English having driven the Dutchmen below, Van Tromp ordered the deck to
be blown up, when numbers of the boarders were killed, though he
escaped.  His ship was again boarded by the crews of the _James_ and of
another ship, and he would have been captured had not De Witt and De
Ruyter bore down and saved him.  The battle was decisive; eleven Dutch
ships were taken and thirteen hundred prisoners, while seven were sunk,
two were blown up, thus making twenty ships taken and destroyed.

Grand naval engagements were carried on in those days with very little
order or regularity, each ship singling out an antagonist, and attacking
her as opportunities offered.  Even then, however, some of the more
sagacious naval commanders discerned that this was not the wisest plan
for gaining a victory.  Sir William Monson, one of the most skilful
admirals of the period, observes, that the most famous naval battles of
late years were those of Lepanto against the Turks, in 1577, of the
Spaniards against the French, 1580, and the English against the Spanish
Armada, in 1588.  After making various remarks, he continues: "The
greatest advantage in a sea-fight is to get the wind of one another; for
he that has the wind is out of danger of being boarded, and has the
advantage where to board and how to attempt the enemy.  The wind being
thus gotten, the general is to give no other directions than to every
admiral of a squadron to draw together their squadron and every one to
undertake his opposite squadron, or where he should do it to his
greatest advantage, but to be sure to take a good distance of one
another, and to relieve that squadron that should be overcharged or
distressed.  Let them give warning to their ships not to venture so far
as to bring them to leeward of the enemy, for it would be in the power
of the enemy to board them, and they not to avoid it."

The strict ordering of battles by ships was before the invention of the
bowline, for then there was no sailing but before the wind, nor any
fighting but by boarding; whereas now a ship will sail within six points
of thirty-two, and by the advantage of wind, may rout any force that is
placed in that form of battle--namely, that of the Spanish Armada, to
which he is referring.  The Admiralty, however, did not appear to agree
with Sir William Monson, for the following instructions were
issued:--"You are to take notice, that in case of joining battle you are
to leave it to the vice-admiral to assail the enemy's admiral, and to
match yours as equally as you can to succour the rest of the fleet, as
cause shall require, not wasting your powder nor shooting afar off, nor
till you come side by side."

The more sagacious commanders saw, that in order to ensure victory,
something beyond a vast host of ships fighting without order was
necessary, and perceived that the fleet which fought in line was in most
cases victorious.  The fiercest action of this period was fought on the
9th and 10th of August, when the English fleet, under Monk, came in
sight of the Dutch, commanded by Admiral Van Tromp, who had with him
many other celebrated officers, and nearly a hundred ships of war.  Monk
had about the same number of ships, which he drew up in line.  The
English manoeuvred to gain the wind, but Van Tromp, who had it at the
first, kept it with advantage, and drew up his own fleet in a line
parallel to that of the English, when, bearing down upon them, he began
the battle with so great a fury, that many ships were soon seen
dismasted, others sunk, and others on fire.  A spectator, who was on
board a vessel at a distance, describes the scene: "The two fleets were
now enveloped in a cloud of smoke so dense that it was impossible to
form a judgment of the fierceness of the battle otherwise than by the
horrible noise of the cannon with which the air resounded, and by the
mountains of fire which every now and then were seen rising out of the
smoke, with a crash that gave sufficient notice that whole ships were
blowing up.  The battle lasted for eight hours, and was the most hard
fought of any that had happened throughout the war.  The Dutch
fire-ships were managed with great dexterity, and many of the large
vessels in the English fleet were in the utmost danger.  The _Triumph_
was so effectually fired, that most of her crew threw themselves into
the sea, though others remaining behind put out the fire.  Admiral
Lawson engaged Admiral Ruyter, killed and wounded above half his men,
and so disabled his ship, that she was towed out of the fleet.  About
noon Van Tromp was shot through the body by a musket-ball as he was
giving his orders.  This greatly discouraged the Dutch, so that they
began to beat to windward, and to engage only in retreating, having but
one flag still flying.  As the smoke cleared off, the two fleets were
seen in a condition which showed the horrible fury of the conflict in
which they had been engaged.  The whole sea was covered with dead
bodies, with fragments, and with hulls of wrecks, still smoking or
burning.  Throughout the remainder of the two fleets were seen only
dismasted vessels, and sails perforated through and through by
cannon-balls.  The English pursued them, but being afraid of the shoals,
they came to an anchor six leagues off the Texel."  The loss of the
Dutch amounted to 6200 men, including Admiral Van Tromp and Evertzen,
with many other persons of distinction, with twenty-six ships of war
sunk or burnt.  On the side of the English, 7 captains and 500 men were
killed, and 5 captains and 800 men wounded, besides which three of their
ships were destroyed.  Among the English ships were several merchantmen,
and in order to take off the thoughts of their captains from their
owners' vessels and cargoes, Monk sent them to each other's ships, a
scheme which answered perfectly well, no ships in the fleet having
behaved better.  He also, it was said, to save time, issued orders at
the commencement of the fight, that no quarter should be given or taken.
This, however, was not so strictly observed, but that 1200 Dutchmen
were saved from the sinking ships.  On this occasion the Dutch set the
example of fighting in line, though in their case, owing to the
desperate valour of the English, the plan did not succeed as well as it
did on many other subsequent occasions.  Not without difficulty did the
English ships get back to England.  This victory compelled the Dutch to
sue for peace.

It was at this time that the following song is supposed to have been
written, showing the spirit which animated the nation.  It is probably,
as will be seen, the original of "Ye Mariners of England."

  "When gallants are carousing
  In taverns on a row,
  Then we sweep o'er the deep
  When the stormy winds do blow."

"Jack," however, was to have his consolation, for at the end, as we

  "When we return in safety,
  With wages for our pains;
  The tapster and the vintner
  Will help to share our gains.
  We'll call for liquor roundly,
  And pay before we go;
  Then we roar on the shore
  When the stormy winds do blow," etcetera.

The gallant Blake's latest achievement was the capture of numerous
Spanish galleons, after a desperate battle off Teneriffe.  He, however,
did not live to receive the fresh honours Parliament was ready to bestow
on him, as he died on the 17th of August, on board the _George_, just as
she was entering Plymouth Sound.  As Clarendon says of him: "He was the
first to infuse that proportion of courage into seamen, by making them
see by experience what mighty things they could do if they were
resolved, and taught them to fight in fire as well as upon water; and
although he had been very well imitated and followed, he was the first
to give an example of that kind of naval courage which leads to bold and
resolute deeds."

The first duty of the English fleet after the restoration had been
determined on was to bring over Charles the Second, who landed in Kent
on the 23rd May, 1660.



The object of Roman Catholic France was to keep Protestant England
embroiled with Holland, and in the profligate Charles the Second, a
willing instrument was found for carrying out her designs.  War was
declared, and the Duke of York took command of a fleet consisting of 109
men-of-war, and 28 fire-ships and ketches, with 21,000 seamen and
soldiers on board.  The Duke having blockaded the Texel, was compelled
at length for want of provisions to return to England, and immediately
the Dutch fleet sailed out under the command of Baron Opdam, Evertzen,
and Cornelius Van Tromp.  Directly afterwards nine merchant-ships of the
English Hamburgh Company and a frigate of 34 guns fell into their hands.
Opdam at all risks was ordered to attack the English, which he did,
contrary to his own opinion, while his opponents had the advantage of
the wind.  At first the battle appeared tolerably equal, but the Earl of
Sandwich, with the Blue Squadron, piercing into the centre of the Dutch
fleet, divided it into two parts, and began that confusion which ended
in its total defeat.  The Duke of York, who was in the _Royal Charles_,
a ship of 80 guns, was in close fight with Admiral Opdam in the
_Endracht_, of 84 guns.  The contest was severe, the Earl of Falmouth,
Lord Muskerry, and Mr Boyle, second son of the Earl of Burlington,
standing near the duke, were killed by a chain-shot.  In the heat of the
action the Dutch admiral's ship blew up, and of five hundred of his
gallant men, among whom were a great number of volunteers of the best
families in Holland, only five were saved.  A fire-ship falling foul of
four Dutch ships, the whole were burnt.  Shortly afterwards three others
suffered the same fate.  The whole Dutch fleet seemed now to be but one
blaze, and the cries of so many miserable wretches who were perishing
either by fire or water was more frightful than the noise of the cannon.
The English gave their vanquished enemy all the assistance they could,
while with continued fury they assailed the rest.  The English lost but
one ship, while they took eighteen of the largest Dutch ships, sunk or
burnt about fourteen more, killed four thousand men, and took two
thousand prisoners, who were brought into Colchester.  Among them were
sixteen captains.  As the bards of old stirred up the warriors of their
tribe to deeds of valour, so the naval poets of those days wrote songs
to animate the spirits of British tars.  The following lines are said to
have been written on the eve of the battle by Lord Buckhurst, afterwards
Earl of Dorset:--

  To all you ladies now on land
  We men at sea indite,
  But first would have you understand
  How hard it is to write;
  The muses now, and Neptune too,
  We must implore to write to you.
  With a fa, la, la, la, la.

  For tho' the muses should prove kind,
  And fill our empty brain;
  Yet if rough Neptune rouse the wind
  To wave the azure main,
  Our paper, pen and ink, and we
  Roll up and down our ships at sea.
  With a fa, la, etcetera.

  Then if we write not by each post,
  Think not we are unkind,
  Nor yet conclude our ships are lost
  By Dutchmen or by wind,
  Ours tears we'll send a speedier way--
  The tide shall bring them twice a-day.
  With a fa, la, etcetera.

  The king, with wonder and surprise,
  Will swear the seas grow bold,
  Because the tides will higher rise
  Than e'er they used of old,
  But let him know it is our tears
  Bring floods of grief to Whitehall stairs
  With a fa, la, etcetera.

  Let wind and weather do its worst,
  Be you to us but kind,
  Let Dutchmen vapour, Spaniards curse,
  No sorrow shall we find;
  'Tis then no matter how things go,
  Or who's our friend, or who's our foe.
  With a fa, la, etcetera.

  And now we've told you all our loves,
  And likewise all our fears,
  In hopes this declaration moves
  Some pity from your tears;
  Let's hear of no inconstancy,
  We have too much of that at sea.
  With a fa, la, etcetera.

Notwithstanding this defeat, the Dutch in a short time were again ready
for battle.  The fight lasted without interruption from three in the
morning till seven in the evening.  The remains of the Dutch fleet made
sail for the Texel, but were not pursued by the duke.  "After the
fight," says Burnet, "a council of war was called to concert the method
of action when they should come up with the enemy.  In that council,
Penn, who commanded under the duke, happened to say that they must
prepare for better work the next engagement.  He knew well the courage
of the Dutch was never so high as when they were desperate.  The Earl of
Montague, who was then a volunteer, and one of the duke's corps, told
him it was very visible that remark made an impression upon him; and all
the duke's domestics said, `He had got near enough--why should he
venture a second time.'  The duchess had also given a strict charge to
all the duke's servants to do all they could to hinder him to engage too
far.  When matters were settled they went to sleep, and the duke ordered
a call to be given him when they should get up with the Dutch fleet.  It
is not known what passed between the duke and Brouncker, who was of his
bed-chamber, and then in waiting, but he came to Penn as from the duke
and said, `The duke orders the sail to be slackened.'  Penn was struck
with the order, but did not go about to argue the matter with the duke
himself as he ought to have done, but obeyed it.  When the duke had
slept, he upon his waking went out upon the quarter-deck, and seemed
amazed to see the sails slackened, and that thereby all hopes of
overtaking the Dutch was lost."  It was not the only occasion on which
James the Second showed the white feather.

Of the unfortunate Dutch officers who escaped, three were publicly shot
at the Helder, four were ordered to have their swords broken over their
heads by the common hangman, and the master of the vice-admiral to stand
upon a scaffold with a halter about his neck under the gallows, while
the others were executed, and he was afterwards sent into perpetual
banishment.  Two more were degraded and rendered incapable of serving
the States more.

Before long the Dutch had their revenge.  Charles being easily persuaded
to lay up his ships and pocket the money voted for their maintenance,
the Dutch, prompted by the French, who promised their assistance,
rapidly fitted out a fleet under Admiral Van Ghendt.  To deceive the
English, he sailed for the Firth of Forth, which he entered, and after
firing away to little purpose for some time, took his departure, and
joined De Ruyter, who with seventy sail of ships appeared in the mouth
of the Thames on the 7th of June, 1667.  A squadron was immediately
despatched up the river, when the fort of Sheerness was burnt and
plundered, though bravely defended by Sir Edward Spragg.  Monk, Duke of
Albemarle, hastening down with some land forces, sank several vessels in
the entrance of the Medway, and laid a strong chain across it; but the
Dutch, with the high tide and strong easterly wind, broke their way
through and burnt the _Matthias_, the _Unity_, and the _Charles the
Fifth_, which had been taken from them.  The next day they proceeded
with six men-of-war and five fire-ships as far as Upnor Castle, but met
with so warm a reception, that they advanced no farther.  On their
return they burnt the _Royal Oak_, and damaged the _Loyal London_ and
the _Great James_.  They also carried off with them the hull of the
_Royal Charles_, which the English twice set on fire, but which they as
often quenched.  Captain Douglas, when the enemy had set her on fire,
having received no command to retire, said it should never be told that
a Douglas had quitted his post without orders, and resolutely continuing
on board, was burnt with his ship, falling a glorious sacrifice to
discipline, and showing an example of no common bravery.

While the Dutch were in the Thames, a large number of their merchantmen,
however, fell into the hands of the English, amply recompensing the
latter for the loss they had sustained.  The gallant action of Captain
Dawes, commanding the _Elizabeth_ frigate, must be mentioned.  Falling
in with fifteen sail of Rotterdam men-of-war, he fought their
rear-admiral, of 64 and five others of 48 and 50 guns, and presently
fought the admiral, of 70 guns, and two of his seconds, yet got clear of
them all.  Shortly afterwards he engaged two Danish men-of-war, of 40
guns each, in which action, after four hours' fight, he was struck by a
cannon-ball, crying with his last breath, "For God's sake! don't yield
the frigate to those fellows."  Soon after, his lieutenant being
desperately wounded, and the master who succeeded him slain, the gunner
took their places, and so plied the two Danes, that they were glad to
sheer off.  The English anchored within a mile of them during the night
to repair damages.  The next morning they expected the Danes again, but
though they were to windward and had the advantage of the current, yet
they would not venture--upon which the English, after having saluted
them with a shot of defiance, bore away for England.

A squadron under Sir Edward Spragg was sent out to punish the Algerines
for their piracies.  He drove many of their ships on shore and burnt
seven, each carrying thirty-four guns.  In the same year, 1670, the
captain and first lieutenant of the _Sapphire_ were condemned to be shot
for cowardice, having run from four sail which they supposed to be
Turkish men-of-war, and also for getting the ship on shore, by which she
was lost, contrary to the opinion of the master and crew, who offered to
defend her.  The sentence was executed on board the _Dragon_ at

The peace of Breda terminated for a time the contest with the Dutch.
War was, however, soon again to break out.  The statesmen Clifford,
Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington, and Lauderdale, the initial letters of
whose titles gave the name of the Cabal to their ministry, now formed a
scheme for rendering the king absolute; Charles, acting under the
influence of the King of France, who agreed to assist England in
humbling the States-General.  Every slight offence committed by the
Dutch was magnified into a sufficient reason for engaging in a fresh war
with the States, till it at last broke out with great violence.  The
English had formed an alliance with the French, when their united
fleets, under the command of Prince Rupert--the English having sixty
men-of-war and frigates and the French thirty--encountered the Dutch
under De Ruyter, who had about seventy ships.  De Ruyter bearing down
with his fleet in three squadrons prepared to attack the Prince himself,
while Tromp engaged Spragg and the Blue Squadron, the English admiral
having, contrary to the express orders of Prince Rupert, laid his
fore-topsail to the mast in order to stay for him.  The French admiral
had received orders to keep aloof, which he in part obeyed, while owing
to Spragg's too daring conduct Prince Rupert found himself separated
from a large portion of his fleet.  The fiercest engagement was that
between Tromp, in the _Golden Lion_, and Spragg, in the _Royal Prince_.
For long they fought ship to ship, till the _Royal Prince_ was so
disabled, that Sir Edward Spragg was forced to go on board the _Saint
George_, and Tromp quitted his _Golden Lion_ to hoist his flag on board
the _Comat_, when the battle was renewed with incredible fury.  The aim
of the Dutch admiral was to take or sink the _Royal Prince_, but the
Earl of Ossory and Sir John Kempthorne, together with Spragg himself, so
effectually protected the disabled vessel, that none of the enemy's
fire-ships could come near her, though this was often attempted.  At
last the _Saint George_, being terribly torn and in a manner disabled,
Sir Edward Spragg designed to go on board a third ship, but before he
was got six boats' length a shot, which passed through the _Saint
George_, struck his boat, and, though her crew immediately rowed back,
yet before they could get within reach of the ropes the boat sank, and
Sir Edward was drowned.  The fight continued till sunset, when darkness
and smoke obliged them on all sides to desist, the English having all
this time maintained the fight alone against the whole Dutch fleet,
while the French continued to look on at a distance.

The English could not claim this action as a victory, for though the
Dutch carried off no trophies, they had decidedly the best of it.  The
English officers, however, behaved with the greatest gallantry, and had
they not been so shamefully deserted by their pretended allies, would
have won the day.  Prince Rupert highly praised the conduct of the Earl
of Ossory for the way in which he bore down to the rescue of the _Royal
Prince_.  Sir John Chichely and Sir John Kempenthorne, as did many
others, behaved with conspicuous courage, while several commanders of
distinction lost their lives.  The conduct of the gunner of the _Royal
Prince_, Richard Leake--whose son became the famous Sir John Leake--is
worthy of mention.  Before Sir Edward Spragg quitted the ship, she had
lost all her masts, the larger number of her upper deck guns were
disabled, and 400 of her crew, out of 750, were killed or wounded.
While in this disabled condition, a large Dutchman, with two fire-ships,
bore down on her for the purpose of effecting her capture or
destruction.  The lieutenant who had been left in command, believing
that it was hopeless to resist, was on the point of striking, when the
gallant Leake, calling on the crew to support him, took the command, and
so ably fought the remaining guns that both the fire-ships were sunk,
his large assailant compelled to sheer off, and the ship preserved from

The nation, discovering that England had become the mere tool of France,
loudly cried out for peace with Holland, which was signed in London on
the 9th of February, 1674.  By this treaty it was agreed on the part of
the Dutch that their ships, whether separate or in fleets, should be
obliged, as a matter of right, to strike their sails to any fleet or
single ship carrying the King of England's flag.

Very considerable improvements were carried out in the naval service
during Charles the Second's reign by the influence of the Duke of York.
In 1662 a judge-advocate, John Fowler, was first appointed to the fleet.
In 1663 an established number of seamen was fixed to each ship of war
according to her rate, and servants were at this time first allowed to
the captains and officers.  Under this rating it was usual for officers
to take a certain number of young gentlemen to sea, who, in consequence,
gained the name of midshipmen.  They are often spoken of as captains'
servants or cabin-boys, signifying that they were berthed and messed in
the cabin--not that they had of necessity menial duties to perform.  An
allowance of table-money was first established to the flag-officers; a
Surgeon-General to the fleet was also first appointed by warrant from
the Lord High Admiral.

In 1666, in addition to the complement of men borne on board a ship
bearing the flag of an admiral, fifty men were allowed; to a
Vice-Admiral, twenty; and to a Rear-Admiral, ten.

We have the first instance in this year of gratuities being allowed to
captains in the navy who were wounded in battle.

From the instances already given, it will be seen that the naval
officers of those days possessed a dashing, dauntless courage which no
dangers could subdue.  The following is one among many others.  The
_Tiger_ frigate, commanded by Captain Harman, was lying in the Port of
Cadiz at the same time that a Dutch squadron was there.  De Witt, the
captain of one of the Dutch frigates, was particularly friendly with
Captain Harman; this made the Spaniards insinuate that he dared not
fight the English frigate.  Evertzen, the Dutch admiral, on hearing this
report, told De Witt that he must challenge the English captain to go to
sea and fight him, to support the honour of his nation, and that he
would assist him with sixty seamen and seventy soldiers.  Captain Harman
readily accepted his proposal, and on a day fixed both ships stood to
sea, and began to engage within pistol-shot of each other.  In a short
time the Dutch ship's main-mast was shot away.  Captain Harman, availing
himself of the confusion into which this disaster had thrown the enemy,
boarded and compelled her to surrender, with the loss of 140 men.  The
English had only nine killed and fifteen wounded.

Since the increase of the navy, the Cinque Ports being of less
consequence than formerly, the king granted them a new charter
confirming their ancient privileges, with the addition of some
regulations more suitable to modern times.

As an encouragement for seamen to enter into the navy, a bounty was
given to all who entered on board first and second-rates of six weeks'
pay, and on board of third-rates one month's pay.

In 1673 an order was issued to all commanders of His Majesty's ships of
war that in future they were not to require French ships to strike the
flag or topsail, or salute, neither were they to salute those of the
French king.

In 1673 the oaths of allegiance and supremacy were first administered to
the officers in His Majesty's navy.  The king granted half-pay to
several captains in the navy, according to the rates they commanded, as
a gratuity for their bravery during the war.

The regulating and allotting of cabins to each particular officer was
first established.

For some years merchant-ships had been sheathed with lead, and the
experiment was now tried on the _Harwich_ and _Kingfisher_ ships of war,
as also on several other ships ordered for foreign service.  The
practice was, however, in a few years discontinued.

The Royal Navy was now becoming far larger than it had ever before been.
In 1675 the Parliament granted 300,000 pounds for the building of
twenty large ships of war, one first-rate of 1400 tons, eight
second-rates of 1100 tons, and eleven third-rates of 700 tons.  At the
same time the tonnage and poundage money was applied to the benefit of
the Royal Navy.  The Newfoundland fishery had begun to assume
considerable importance, it being considered especially useful as a
nursery to furnish seamen for the Royal Navy.  Thus in the year 1676,
102 ships were employed, each ship carrying 20 guns, 18 boats, and 5 men
to each boat, making in all 9180 men.

The corsairs which sailed forth from the States of Tunis, Tripoli, and
Algiers, continuing their depredations on English merchant-ships, Sir
John Narborough was in 1675 despatched with a powerful squadron to teach
them better behaviour.  On arriving off Tripoli Sir John sent Lieutenant
Cloudesly Shovel, of whom we now first hear, to open negotiations with
the Dey.  That Oriental potentate, despising Mr Shovel for his youthful
appearance, sent him back with a disrespectful answer.  He had, however,
made a note of everything he saw, and on returning on board he assured
the commodore of the practicability of burning the piratical fleet.  The
night being extremely dark, the commodore despatched Lieutenant Shovel
with all the boats of the fleet to destroy the ships in the mole.
Lieutenant Shovel first seized the guard-boat, then entered the mole,
and burnt four large armed ships, without losing a man.  The Dey,
terrified by these unexpected proceedings of the English, sued for
peace; but, according to time-honoured eastern custom, delayed the
fulfilment of his engagements, on which Sir John sailing in, cannonaded
the town, landed a party of men, burnt some stores, and finally brought
him to terms.  One of the pirate ships carried 50 guns, one 30, one 24,
and another 20 guns.  These powerful rovers were indeed a match for any
ordinary merchant-vessel, and often contended desperately with
men-of-war.  In 1677 the 26-gun ship _Guernsey_, Captain James Harman,
fell in with one of them, an Algerine called the _White Horse_, carrying
50 guns, and 500 men, while the crew of the _Guernsey_ numbered only
110.  A fierce action ensued, when at length the Algerine, taking
advantage of the _Guernsey's_ disabled state, sheered off, these pirates
always fighting for booty rather than for honour.  The gallant Captain
Harman received three musket-balls in his body, and a severe contusion
from a cannon-shot.  He still fought his ship till he sank from
exhaustion, when Lieutenant John Harris took command.  The _Guernsey_ in
the action lost nine killed and many wounded, besides the captain, who
three days afterwards expired.

A still more successful action was fought between the 40-gun ship
_Adventure_, Captain William Booth, and an Algerine ship of war called
the _Golden Horse_, of 46 guns, commanded by Morat Rais, a notorious
Dutch renegado, who had a crew of 508 Moors and 90 Christian slaves.
During the action a stranger hove in sight under Turkish colours; but
night coming on, the Algerine drew off, when Captain Booth, having a
fire-ship in company, gave orders to burn her or the new-comer.
Fortunately, the fire-ship failed to reach either one or other, and in
the morning the stranger hoisted English colours, and proved to be the
40-gun ship _Nonsuch_.  The _Golden Horse_ being dismasted, and 109 of
her crew killed and 120 wounded, and having six-feet of water in the
hold, surrendered.

In the same year a 42-gun ship, Captain Morgan Kempthorne, beat off
seven Algerine corsairs, after they had made several desperate attempts
to board her.  Unhappily the Captain and eight of his crew were killed,
and 38 wounded.

Many other similar gallant actions were fought with the Algerines and
Sallee rovers, who, however, notwithstanding their frequent defeats,
continued their depredations on the commerce of England and other
European countries.  Tangiers had been in possession of the English
about twenty years, but, to save the expense of keeping it up, a fleet
under Lord Dartmouth was sent out to destroy all the works, and to bring
home the garrison.  The destruction of the mole, which was admirably
built, caused much labour, it being necessary to blow it up by
piecemeal.  Its ruins, as well as the rubbish of the town, were thrown
into the harbour to prevent its again becoming a port.

The navy had long been held in high estimation by the English, who were
always ready to grant any sum required for its improvement.  It is
stated that between the years 1660 and 1670 never less than 5000 pounds
a-year was granted for its support.  On the death of Charles the Royal
Navy amounted to 113 sail.


James, on his accession, assigned a stated sum of 400,000 pounds a-year,
to be paid quarterly from the treasury, for the service of the navy.
Four additional commissioners were also appointed for the better
regulating of the docks and naval storehouses, and for the more speedy
repairs of ships of war.  During this time a plan was proposed and
patent granted for making salt water fresh by distillation.  All
captains and officers received orders to despatch perfect copies of
their journals to the Secretary of the Admiralty.  An increased
allowance of table-money was granted in lieu of several perquisites and
advantages they had before enjoyed.

The larger number of the officers and men of the navy were sound
Protestants, who regarded the proceedings of James with jealous eyes;
and thus, notwithstanding his magnificent fleet, Lord Dartmouth could
only muster 17 sail of the line, chiefly third and fourth-rates, 3
frigates, 13 fire-ships, and 3 yachts to oppose the landing of the
Prince of Orange.

On the 12th of December, 1688, James the Second finished his short reign
by abdicating the throne, at which time the navy consisted of 173 sail,
showing that he must have either built or purchased sixty ships.



A.D. 1660 to A.D. 1689.

When great guns or cannon came into use, the old style of fighting at
sea was completely changed.  We hear of them as early as the thirteenth
century, employed in a naval engagement between the King of Tunis and
the Moorish King of Seville.  They were first used on shore by the
English at the battle of Crescy, fought in 1346, and at sea by the
Venetians about the year 1380.  In the reigns of Richard the Third and
Henry the Seventh they were first employed by the English at sea.  They
were not then, however, as now, pointed through port-holes, but were
mounted so as to fire over the bulwarks of the vessel.  In those days,
therefore, ships of war could have had but one armed deck, and were
probably urged by oars as well as by sails.  Port-holes were invented by
Descharves, a French builder at Brest, and the first English ship in
which they were formed was the _Henry Grace de Dieu_, built at Erith in
1515.  She was said to have been of no less than 1000 tons burden, but
as we are ignorant of the mode in which ships were measured for tonnage
in those days, we cannot tell her actual burden.  She must, however,
have been a large vessel, for she had two whole decks, besides what we
now call a forecastle and poop.  She mounted altogether eighty pieces,
composed of every calibre in use; but of these not more than fifty-four,
according to the print before us, were pointed through broadside ports.
The rest were either mounted as bow or stern chasers, or as "murdering
pieces," as they were called, which pointed down on the deck; their
object apparently being, should a ship be boarded, to fire on the enemy.
The calibre of great guns was not in those days designated by the
weight of the shot they discharged.  This was probably from the reason
that the balls were not all made of the same materials.  At first they
were of stone; then those of iron were introduced; and sometimes they
were formed of lead; and, at an early period, hollow iron shot, filled
with combustible matter, were brought into use.  Thus the weight of shot
fluctuated too much to serve for the classification of the gun from
which it was fired.  Ships' guns in those days were known as cannon,
cannon royal, cannon serpentine, bastard cannon, demi-cannon, and cannon

The _Sovereign of the Seas_ was built at Woolwich Dockyard, in 1637, by
Mr Phineas Pett, and Mr Thomas Haywood was the designer of her
decorations.  She measured, probably, about 1500 tons.  He describes her
as having three flush-decks and a forecastle, one half-deck, a
quarter-deck, and a round house.  Her lower tier had 30 ports which were
furnished with demi-cannon and whole cannon throughout; her middle tier
had also 30 ports of demi-culverins and whole culverins; her third tier
had 36 ports for other ordnance; her forecastle had 12 ports; and her
half-deck 13 ports.  She had 13 or 14 ports more within-board for
murdering pieces, besides a great many loop-holes out of the cabins for
musket-shot.  She carried, moreover, 10 pieces of chase ordnance forward
and 10 right aft.  This first-rate of the seventeenth century would thus
have had 126 guns; in reality, however, these ports right forward and
right aft, as well as those on the forecastle, had no guns, and thus she
actually carried only 100.

About the middle of the seventeenth century the ships of the British
Navy ceased to carry guns of a similar calibre on the same deck.  At the
same time the cumbrous forecastles and aftercastles, which must have
been equally inconvenient both in action and in a sea way, were removed.
The murdering pieces were likewise got rid of, and at the same time, an
English ship of war could fire from her broadside half the number of
guns she carried.

In 1546 Henry the Eighth possessed fifty-eight ships, which were classed
according to their quality; thus there were shyppes, galliasses,
pinnaces, and row-barges.  The galliasse was somewhat like the lugger or
felucca of modern days.  She probably was a long, low, and sharp-built
vessel, propelled by oars as well as sails--the latter not fixed to a
standing yard, but hoisted like a boat's sail when required.  The
pinnace was a small kind of galliasse.

In 1612 we find a list in which the vessels of the Royal Navy were
classed as ships-royal, which measured from 800 to 1200 tons, middling
ships from 600 to 800 tons, small ships from 350 tons, and pinnaces from
80 to 250 tons, divided into rates.  They were six in number, and each
rate consisted of two classes, to which different complements of men
were assigned.  We are not told what were the armaments of the classes.
The division into rates was adopted to regulate the pay of the officers
and seamen, as is the case at the present day.

In 1651-2, we find a list of all ships, frigates, and other vessels
belonging to the States' Navy classified by the guns they carried.  Of
these there were twenty-three classes comprised within the second-rates,
exclusive of two unrated classes--namely, hulks and shallops or
row-barges.  The former were used either to lodge the officers and crews
of vessels undergoing repair, or were fitted with shears to erect or
remove masts.  In the course of a few years after this, sloops, bombs,
fire-ships, and yachts are spoken of as among the unrated classes; but
in the sixth-rate were comprised vessels mounting only two guns.
Towards the end of the century such small craft were classed by
themselves as sloops.

In 1675 fire-ships first appear in a list of the navy.  They were much
used at that time for the purpose of setting fire to the enemy's
vessels.  Mr Pepys, who is the chief authority on naval affairs at this
period, says that the Dutch, in the year 1660, made a present of a
yacht, called _Maria_, to Charles the Second, remarking, "until which
time we had not heard of such a name in England."

About the year 1650 a difference was made between the number of guns and
men carried by ships in war time and in peace time, and in war and peace
abroad.  This difference, it is evident, arose from the inability of a
ship to carry a sufficient amount of provisions for her crew when sent
on a long voyage.  When such was the case it was necessary to reduce
both the number of men and guns, in order to allow room for a sufficient
supply of provisions.  As far as we can judge, a first-rate of the
latter end of the seventeenth century mounted her guns on three whole
decks, a quarter-deck, forecastle, and poop; a second-rate mounted hers
on three whole decks and a quarter-deck; a third-rate on two whole
decks, a quarter-deck, forecastle, and poop; a fourth-rate on two whole
decks and a quarter-deck; a fifth-rate on her first gun-deck, with a few
guns on her quarter-deck; a sixth-rate on a single-deck, with or without
any on her quarter-deck.

There were at that period three-deckers of sixty-four guns, and
two-deckers of only thirty guns.  With regard to the guns themselves,
the demi-cannon was probably a 32-pounder, the cannon petro a
24-pounder, and the basilisk a 12-pounder; the whole culverin an
18-pounder, and the demi-culverin a 9-pounder; the saker a 6-pounder,
and the mignon a 4-pounder.  The smaller guns were called swivels, and
were mounted on upright timbers, having a pivot on which the gun
traversed.  Guns at sea were formerly known by the names of beasts and
birds of prey, till about the year 1685 they were designated by the
weight of the shot they carried.

In 1688 we find mention made of bombs, which were vessels carrying six
or eight light guns, and one or two heavy mortars for the purpose of
throwing shells into a town.  It is said that they were invented by
Reynaud, a Frenchman, and that they were first employed at the
bombardment of Algiers in 1681.

In the year 1714 we find the navy divided into ten classes, ships
carrying 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 guns.  The
first-rate descended no lower than to ships carrying 100 guns; the
second no lower than to those of 90 guns; the third admitted all classes
below and above 60; the fourth between 60 and 50; the fifth between 50
and 30; the sixth comprised all vessels below 50, except sloops, bombs,

By the end of the reign of George the First, ships no longer carried
guns on their poops.

The English style of naming the decks of a ship differs from that of
other nations, and though perfectly understood by her crew, is
calculated to puzzle a landsman.  In a one-decked ship the deck on which
the guns are carried is called the main-deck, while the deck below it,
to which there are no ports, the lower or gun-deck.  Hence the term
gun-room, occupied by lieutenants or gun-room officers; indeed, the
lowest deck of every ship is called the gun-deck.  The quarter of a ship
is that part of the side which lies towards the stern, and hence that
part of the deck is called the quarter-deck, in reference to that
portion of the ship's length over which it originally extended.  The
elevation above it is known as the poop, and the raised deck over the
fore-part of the ship is known as the top-gallant forecastle.  In early
days, as we have seen in the case of the _Great Harry_ and other ships,
and even in later days, both at the fore and after-part of the ship
there were elevated structures, very properly called castles.  In time
these were done away with, but short decks elevated above the main or
chief deck were still retained, as it was found inconvenient for the
seamen when working the ship to descend from one of these elevated decks
and then to be compelled to mount the other to get either fore or aft.
They were connected by a grating or gangway of sufficient width to allow
the crew to pass backwards and forwards.  This gangway was still further
widened; it being strengthened by beams running across the ship, allowed
guns to be carried on it.  The after-part had long been called the
quarter-deck, and the fore-part the forecastle, while the intermediate
part was now known as the gangway.  This name was also applied to the
space left in the bulwarks for entering or leaving the ship.  These
portions of the decks now assumed the appearance of an entire even deck
running fore and aft, but it still retained the names originally
bestowed on it, and its imaginary divisions.  The centre part of the
ship, where the gangway is placed, is also commonly called the waist,
because originally there was no deck.  The deck immediately below this
once-divided deck is always called the main-deck.  In a three-decker the
next is called the middle-deck, and the lowest deck on which guns are
carried the lower-deck.  Below this again is one still lower-deck called
the orlop-deck.  A two-decked ship has no middle-deck, but possesses
only a main and lower-deck, besides the before-mentioned quarter-deck,
gangway, and forecastle.  The deck on which a frigate's single battery
is carried is always called her main-deck, because the sailors are wont
to denominate the upper-deck of every ship carrying guns the main-deck.
In a sloop-ship or corvette the only deck, without any one above it on
which guns are carried, is thus invariably called the main-deck, and, as
has before been said, the one beneath it on which the officers and crew
live, and which has no guns, the gun-deck.  Ships which have their only
gun-deck running fore and aft for the same height all along are called
flush-decked ships.  When the after-part of the deck is raised they are
known as being deep-waisted, as is the case with many merchantmen.  The
highest deck of many men-of-war of all rates is often perfectly level,
but others have a short raised deck, extending from just before the
mizen-mast to the stern, which is called the poop, and in many instances
serves as a cover to the captain's cabin.  When the admiral is on board
he occupies the after-cabins on the upper-deck.  In small men-of-war no
cabins are placed under the poop, nor are they ever under the topgallant
forecastle.  On board merchantmen, however, where the poop is of
sufficient elevation and extent to allow of it, the best cabins are
always placed under it, while the crew are almost invariably berthed
under the top-gallant forecastle.  Of course, speaking of men-of-war, we
are referring to ships as they were till the invention of low-sided
armour-plated craft, which necessitated a great, if not an entire,
change of terms, and the introduction of a considerable number of new

Line of battle ships, as their name implies, were such as were capable
from their size, strength, and the number of their guns, of entering
into the line of battle and contending with the largest ships of the
enemy.  We first hear of ships appearing in that character in 1691,
forming the British Channel Fleet under Admiral Russell.  As far back,
however, as the year 1614, in a list of the ships of the navy, the line
of battle ships are separated from the others.  They included all ships
from the first-rate to the fourth-rate.  A fleet was now attended by
smaller, swift vessels, whose duty it was to look out for the enemy, and
to perform other detached services.  These vessels were comprised in the
fifth and sixth-rates, and from an early period were denominated
frigates.  In early days a large number of fast-sailing or fast-rowing
vessels, whether intended for war or for carrying merchandise, were
called frigates.  The word friggot or frigat, as it was often written,
derives its origin from a class of long, sharp vessels used in the
Mediterranean, and impelled either by sails or oars, which had a deck,
the topside of which was higher than that of the galley.  It in general
had openings like port-holes, through which the oars passed.  An Italian
describes the fregata as a little vessel with oars, but whence that name
is derived is uncertain.  A species of swift-flying sea-gull is called
by the French a fregate.  We have also the frigate-bird; but the name is
generally supposed to be derived from the ship, which, however, may not
really be the case.  It is very clear that its principal quality was the
power of moving rapidly either with sails or oars.  The French
transferred the fregate of the Mediterranean to the northern shore of
their country, and constructed it with bluffer bows and of a large size,
to contend with the heavy seas of a northern region.  English
merchant-ships of the early part of the sixteenth century are frequently
spoken of as frigates, and in the latter part of the century were often,
as we have seen, hired by the sovereign to serve as ships of war.  As we
know from the accounts we have already given of the early voyages, some
of their ships were denominated frigates.  Thus, one of the ships
serving with Sir Francis Drake is called the frigate _Elizabeth Fownes_,
of 80 guns and 50 men.  The Duke of Northumberland, then Sir Robert
Dudley, towards the close of the sixteenth century, designed a ship to
measure 160 feet in length and 24 in breadth, and constructed to carry a
tier of guns on a single whole deck, besides other guns on two short
decks, resembling the poop and top-gallant forecastle of a modern ship.
He named his vessel a fregata, and her guns were placed exactly as those
of a modern frigate.

He designed at the same time seven distinct classes of ships of war,
which he named the _Galleon, Ranibargo, Galizabra, Frigata, Gallerone,
Gallerata_, and _Passavolante_.  His designs not being accepted, he, in
the year 1594, built a vessel for himself at Southampton, which measured
300 tons and mounted 30 guns--of course, of small calibre.  In her he
made a voyage to India.

Charles the First possessed two frigates, the _Swan_ and _Nicodemus_,
each of 60 tons, 10 men, and 3 guns.  They probably were only used as
yachts.  The Duke of Buckingham, who was Lord High Admiral from 1619 to
1636, ordered some frigates to be built from the model of two called the
_Providence_ and _Expedition_, captured from the Dunkirkers, mounting,
it is supposed, from 20 to 30 guns, the greater number of which were on
a single-deck.  In consequence of seeing a French frigate in the Thames,
Mr Peter Pett took her as his model for building the _Constant Warwick_
in 1649, which was, as he says, the first frigate built in England.  She
was intended as a privateer for the Earl of Warwick, who afterwards sold
her to the king.  She measured somewhat under 400 tons, and mounted 60
guns, consisting of 18 light demi-culverins or short 9-pounders on the
main-deck, 6 light sakers on the quarter-deck, and 2 mignons on the
after-raised deck, which we should now call the poop.

In those days, and for many years afterwards, the English were addicted
to crowding their vessels with guns, and there can be no doubt that
many, like the _Mary Rose_ and others, were in consequence lost;
especially as their lower-deck ports were often not more than three feet
above the water.  The _Constant Warwick_ had afterwards many more guns
placed in her, so that she ultimately rated as a 46-gun ship, when, from
being an incomparable sailer, she became a slug.  Mr Pepys remarks on
this subject, in 1663 and 1664: "The Dutch and French built ships of two
decks, which carried from 60 to 70 guns, and so contrived that they
carried their lower guns four feet from the water, and could stow four
months' provisions--whereas our frigates from the Dunkirk build, which
were narrower and sharper, carried their guns but little more than three
feet from the water and but ten weeks provisions."

Attempts were made to counteract this great defect, but without much
success.  For several years afterwards Mr Pepys still complained that
frigates were unable to stow a sufficient quantity of provisions, or to
carry their guns high enough out of the water to make them safe.

Up to the early part of the eighteenth century it was a general
complaint that ships of war had more guns placed on board than they
could carry--in consequence, that their lower batteries could not be
opened when there was any sea on, and that they sailed and worked
heavily.  It is wonderful, indeed, how British seamen managed to keep
them afloat, as it is worthy of note that those which fell into the
hands of the enemy were nearly always lost under charge of their new
masters.  The English, it was said, employed the best materials and
workmanship on their vessels, but the French greatly surpassed them in
their models.  The English were the first to abandon the flat form of
the stern under the counter, and to introduce the curved instead, by
which greater strength and lightness as well as beauty was obtained.

In 1748 a ship of 585 tons, to carry 28 guns, 9-pounders on the
main-deck and 3-pounders on the quarter-deck, was built; and in 1757
five other vessels, also called frigates, to carry 28 guns, were
constructed of fir instead of oak, of the same size; but one of them was
captured by the French, and the others in about nine years were broken
up as unserviceable.

The first ship which, according to our present ideas, could properly be
considered a frigate, was the _Southampton_, built at Rotherhithe in the
year 1757 by Mr Robert Inwood, according to a draft of Sir Thomas
Slade, one of the surveyors of the navy.  She measured 671 tons, and
mounted 26 12-pounders on the main-deck, 4 6-pounders on the
quarter-deck, and 2 6-pounders on the forecastle.  She thus carried all
her guns on a single whole deck, a quarter-deck and forecastle, the
characteristic of the true frigate.  She was considered a prime sailer
and first-rate sea-boat, and lasted for fifty-six years, and possibly
would have lasted longer had she not gone to pieces on the rocks.

Shortly after this several 36-gun frigates were built.  Each was about
fifty tons larger than the _Southampton_, and carried four guns more,
which were placed on the quarter-deck.

Several French 36-gun frigates captured by the English were found to be
considerably larger.  One, the _Dana_, was of 941 tons; and three French
32-gun frigates averaged about 700 tons, though armed like the

About 1779 five frigates of 38 guns, and averaging 946 tons, were
launched.  They were the _Minerva_, built at Woolwich, the _Arethusa,
Latona, Phaeton_, and _Thetis_.  They were first armed with 28
18-pounders on the main-deck and 10 6-pounders, 8 18-pound carronades
and 14 swivels on the quarter-deck and forecastle, and with a complement
of 270 men.  Shortly afterwards the complement was increased to 280 men,
9-pounders were placed on board instead of the sixes, the swivels were
omitted, and carronades substituted.

About the same time frigates of 880 tons, to carry 36 guns, 18 and
9-pounders, were built.

Formerly, as has been seen, a number of small vessels were classed as
frigates.  About the year 1775 they were placed in a different rate, and
those carrying 20 guns had now the name of 20-gun post-ships given to
them, signifying that they were commanded by post-captains.  Afterwards
vessels still called frigates, carrying 24 guns, were also ranked as
post-ships.  The French called vessels of this size corvettes, from the
Italian word corvettore, to leap or bound, from which we have derived
the word curvet.  The French afterwards applied the name to ships of 24
guns.  In order to mount all these guns on a single tier, it was
necessary to increase the dimensions of the ship, and thus she could
carry heavier metal than those ships mounting their guns on a
quarter-deck and forecastle.  The English, following their example,
afterwards called all ships carrying 24, 22, and 20 guns post-ships, and
those carrying 18, 16, and 14, or any less number, ship-sloops, to which
the general term of corvette was afterwards applied.  The English did
not apply the term corvette to brigs, but designated such two-masted
vessels as brigs-of-war, though they are sometimes spoken of as

It will thus be understood that a ship that mounts 24 guns at least on a
single-deck, and other guns on a quarter-deck and forecastle, is
properly called a frigate.  When, however, the waist is decked over and
has raised bulwarks with ports in them filled with guns, the vessel
becomes a two-decked ship.

It is necessary to explain the term "flush."  In sea language it means
level, a flush-deck is consequently a level deck extending fore and aft.
Such are all the decks of a man-of-war, except of the upper ones.  Many
merchantmen are also built in the same way, but others rise abruptly a
foot, or two or three feet, towards the stern, the higher part of the
deck becoming the quarter-deck.  Ships thus built are spoken of as
deep-waisted, because the centre part is deeper or lower than the
after-part.  The bulwarks in the same way sink in proportion at the
break of the quarter-deck.  Up to the present day many of the largest
ships-of-war are flush-decked, as are all brigs-of-war and many
corvettes, but a frigate, which must have a quarter-deck and forecastle,
cannot properly be said to be flush-decked, although, in fact, the
gratings or gangway at the waist give her the appearance of being so to
the unsophisticated eye.

Our knowledge of the state of the navy during the reigns of Charles the
Second and his brother is derived chiefly from Mr Samuel Pepys, who was
clerk of the Acts, through the interest of his relative the Earl of
Sandwich, and was ultimately clerk of the treasurer to the commissioners
of the affairs of Tangier, and surveyor-general of the victualling
department.  He spared no pains to check the rapacity of contractors by
whom the naval stores were then supplied; he studied order and economy
in the dockyards, advocated the promotion of old-established officers in
the navy, and resisted to the utmost the infamous system of selling
places, then most unblushingly practised.  During the Dutch war the care
of the navy in a great measure rested upon him alone, and by his zeal
and industry he gained the esteem of the Duke of York, with whom, as
Lord High Admiral, he was in constant intercourse.  Thus from his diary
we can gain a pretty accurate knowledge of the customs of the times in
the naval service, and the way the affairs of the navy were managed.

In an entry of the 4th of June, 1661, he describes a dinner, where the
discourse was on the subject of young noblemen and gentlemen who thought
of going to sea, the naval service being considered as noble as that of
the land.  Lord Crewe remarked that "in Queen Elizabeth's time one young
nobleman would wait with a trencher at the back of another till he come
of age himself;" and he mentioned the Earl of Kent, who was waiting on
Lord Bedford at table when a letter came to that lord announcing that
the earldom had fallen to his servant the young lord; at which he rose
from table and made him sit down in his place, taking a lower for

It was undoubtedly in this way that many lads of family went to sea to
serve as cabin-boys to captains of distinction, and at the same time to
learn seamanship and navigation.

He gives an amusing account of the sale of two ships at an auction by an
inch of candle.  The auctioneer put them up when the candle was first
lighted, and bidding went on till it was burnt down.  He describes "how
they do invite one another, and at last how they all do cry, and we have
much to do to tell who did cry last.  The ships were the _Indian_, sold
for 1300 pounds, and the _Half-Moone_, sold for 830 pounds."  Of course,
the ships were knocked down to the person who made the last bidding
before the candle was burnt out.

It is no wonder that naval affairs went wrong in those days, when money
was wanting to pay both officers and seamen, and to supply stores and
provisions; indeed, what should have been devoted to the purpose was
fearfully misappropriated.  On the 14th of August, 1661, he says: "This
morning Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Penn and I waited upon the Duke of York
in his chamber, to give him an account of the condition of the navy for
lack of money, and how our own very bills are offered upon the exchange
to be sold at 20 in the 100 loss.  He is much troubled at it, and will
speak to the king and council of it this morning."

The debts of the navy at that time amounted to near 374,000 pounds.  He
tells us that he was "writing a little treatise to present to the duke,
about our privileges in the seas, as to other nations striking their
flags to us."  The English had long claimed the right to have this
honour paid to their flag, though the people of other countries were
naturally inclined to dispute it, and if not the cause was the pretext
of our wars with the Dutch.

On the 25th of January he met Sir Richard Brown, and discussed with him
Sir N. Crisp's project for "making a great sluice in the king's lands
about Deptford, to be a wet-dock to hold 200 sail of ships.  But the
ground, it seems, was long since given by the king to Sir Richard."

On the 14th of March the German Dr Knuffler "came to discourse about
his engine to blow up ships.  We doubted not the matter of fact, it
being tried in Cromwell's time, but the safety of carrying them in
ships; but he do tell us that when he comes to tell the king his secret
(for none but the kings successively and their heirs must know it), it
will appear to be of no danger at all.  We concluded nothing, but shall
discourse with the Duke of York tomorrow about it."

Chaplains were appointed in those days to ships, though several
instances are given which prove that they were not men likely to advance
the interests of religion.  After visiting the yard, he went on board
the _Swallow_ in the dock, "where our navy chaplain preached a sad
sermon, full of nonsense and false Latin; but prayed for the Right
Honourable the principall officers."

Again, he speaks of many rogueries practised.  Among others, on the 4th
of June he went "by water to Woolwich, and there saw an experiment made
of Sir R. Ford's Holland's yarne (about which we have lately had so much
stir, and I have much concerned myself for our ropemaker, Mr Hughes,
who represented it so bad), and we found it to be very bad, and broke
sooner than upon a fair trial, five threads of that against four of Riga
yarne; and also that some of it had old stuffe that had been tarred,
covered over with new hempe, which is such a cheat as hath not been
heard of."

The war with the Dutch had not yet commenced, but there was every
probability of it soon breaking out, though the English fleet was at
that time in a sadly unprepared state.  On the 28th of June, 1662, he
says: "Great talk there is of a fear of a war with the Dutch, and we
have orders to pitch upon 20 ships to be forthwith set out; but I hope
it is but a scarecrow to the world to let them see that we can be ready
for them; though God knows, the king is not able to set out five ships
at this present without great difficulty, we neither having money,
credit, nor stores."

With regard to the stores, he says, on the 21st of July: "To Woolwich to
the rope-yard, and there looked over several sorts of hemp, and did fall
upon my great survey of seeing the working and experiments of the
strength and the charge in the dressing of every sort; and I do think
have brought it to so great a certainty, as I have done the king some
service in it, and do purpose to get it ready against the duke's coming
to towne to present to him.  I see it is impossible for the king to have
things done as cheap as other men."

On the 4th of September he remarks, notwithstanding all their
shortcomings, that the fleet was in a far better condition than in the
days of Queen Elizabeth.  "Sir William Compton I heard talk with great
pleasure of the difference between the fleet now and in Queen
Elizabeth's days; where, in 1588, she had but 36 sail great and small in
the world, and ten rounds of powder was their allowance at that time
against the Spaniards."

He speaks of yachts as pleasure vessels, a name derived from the Dutch,
one of which class of vessels so-called had been presented by them to
the late king.  "By water to Woolwich; in my way saw the yacht lately
built by our virtuosos (my Lord Brunkard and others, with the help of
Commissioner Pett also), set out from Greenwich with the little Dutch
bezan to try for mastery; and before they got to Woolwich the Dutch beat
them half-a-mile (and I hear this afternoon that, in coming home, it got
above three miles), which all our people are glad of."

On the 18th of February, 1663, he says that he finds "the true charge of
the navy" to be "after the rate of 374,743 pounds a-year."

On the 14th of April Sir George Carteret tells him that Parliament "will
call all things in question; and, above all, the expenses of the navy;"
"and into the truth of the report of people being forced to sell their
bills at 15 per cent, losse in the navy."

On the 23rd of May Sir George says that Parliament intend to report
200,000 pounds per annum as the ordinary charge of the navy.

The importance of having wet-docks in which ships could be fitted out
was well understood.  He speaks of finding certain creeks at Portsmouth,
and mentions Commissioner Pett's design to form a wet-dock in Saint
Mary's creek, "which can be done at no great charge, and yet no little
one; he thinks, towards 10,000 pounds;" and that the place is likely to
be a very fit one when the king has money to do it with.

He mentions a letter of Sir William Petty, "wherein he says that his
vessel, which he hath built upon two keels (a model whereof, built for
the king, he shewed me), hath this month won a wager of 50 pounds, in
sailing between Dublin and Holyhead, with the pacquett-boat, the best
ship or vessel the king hath there; and he offers to lay with any vessel
in the world.  It is about 30 ton in burden, and carries 30 men, with
good accommodation (as much more as any ship of her burden), and so any
vessel of this figure shall carry more men, with better accommodation by
half, than any other ship.  This carries also ten guns of about five
tons weight.  In their coming back from Holyhead they started together,
and this vessel came to Dublin by five at night, and the pacquett-boat
not before eight the next morning; and when they come they did believe
that this vessel had been drowned, or at least behind, not thinking she
could have lived in that sea."  He concludes, "I only affirm that the
perfection of sailing lies in my principle, find it out who can."

By his account we find that machines to perform the same service as
torpedoes were thought of in those days.  He tells "Dr Allen," with
whom he had "some good discourse about physick and chymistry, what
Dribble, the German Doctor, do offer of an instrument to sink ships he
tells me that which is more strange, that something made of gold, which
they call in chymistry _aurum fulminans_, a grain, I think he said, of
it, put into a silver spoon and fired, will give a blow like a musquett,
and strike a hole through the silver spoon downward, without the least
force upward."

He gives an amusing account of a trial about the insurance of a ship,
before Lord Chief-Justice Hide.  "It was pleasant to see what mad sort
of testimonys the seamen did give, and could not be got to speak in
order; and then their terms such as the judge could not understand; and
to hear how sillily the counsel and judge would speak as to the terms
necessary in the matter, would make one laugh; and, above all, a
Frenchman, that was forced to speak in French, and took an English oath
he did not understand, and had an interpreter sworn to tell us what he
said, which was the best testimony of all."

On the 3rd of December, 1663, he gives us the satisfactory intelligence
"that the navy (excepting what is due to the yards upon the quarter now
going on) is quite out of debt; which is extraordinary good news, and
upon the 'Change, to hear how our credit goes as good as any merchant's
upon the 'Change is a joyfull thing to consider, which God continue!"

The next day he remarks, "The King of France, they say, is hiring of 60
sail of ships of the Dutch, but it is not said for what design."

On the 22nd of January he went down to Deptford, "and there viewed Sir
William Petty's vessel; which hath an odd appearance, but not such as
people do make of it."

On the 4th of March he "saw several people trying a new-fashion gun,
brought by my Lord Peterborough this morning, to shoot off often, one
after another, without trouble or danger."  This must have been
something of the fashion of a revolver of the present day.

One of the first entries regarding the Dutch war is on the 21st of
November, 1644.  "This day, for certain, news is come that Teddiman hath
brought in eighteen or twenty Dutchmen, merchants, their Bourdeaux
fleet, and two men-of-war to Portsmouth.  And I had letters this
afternoon, that three are brought into the Downes and Dover; so that the
warr is begun: God give a good end to it!"

On the 31st of December he says: "My Lord Sandwich at sea with the fleet
at Portsmouth, sending some about to cruise for taking of ships, which
we have done to a great number."

On the 11th of January, 1665: "This evening, by a letter from Plymouth,
I hear that two of our ships, the _Leopard_ and another, in the
Straights, are lost by running aground; and that three more had like to
have been so, but got off, whereof Captain Allen one; and that a Dutch
fleet are gone thither; and if they should meet with our lame ships, God
knows what would become of them.  This I reckon most sad news; God make
us sensible of it!"

The following remarks show the threatening attitude of the Dutch: on the
12th of January, 1665, "Spoke with a Frenchman, who was taken, but
released, by a Dutch man-of-war, of 36 guns (with seven more of the
king's or greater ships), off the North Foreland, by Margett.  Which is
a strange attempt, that they should come to our teeth; but, the wind
being easterly, the wind that should bring our force from Portsmouth,
will carry them away home."

On the 15th he was called in, with Sir William Penn, to see the king,
"And there Sir W. Penn spoke pretty well to dissuade the king from
letting the Turkish ships go out; saying (in short), the king having
resolved to have 130 ships out by the spring, he must have above 20 of
them merchantmen.  Towards which, he, in the whole river, could find but
12 or 14, and of them the five ships taken up by these merchants were a
part, and so could not be spared.  That we should need 30,000 sailors to
man these 130 ships, and of them, in service, we have not above 16,000;
so that we shall need 14,000 more.  That these ships will, with their
convoys, carry about 2000 men, and those the best men that could be got;
it being the men used to the southward that are the best men of warr,
though those bred in the north, among the colliers, are good for labour.
That it will not be safe for the merchants, nor honourable for the
king, to expose these rich ships with his convoy of six ships to go, it
not being enough to secure them against the Dutch, who, without doubt,
will have a great fleet in the Straights."

At a visit of the Duke of York, he hears, by a letter from Captain
Allen, "First, of our own loss of two ships, the _Phoenix_ and
_Nonsuch_, in the Bay of Gibraltar; then of his and his seven ships with
him, in the Bay of Cales, or thereabouts, fighting with the 34 Dutch
Smyrna fleet; sinking the _King Solomon_, a ship worth 150,000 pounds,
or more, some say 200,000 pounds, and another; and taking of three
merchant-ships.  Two of our ships were disabled by the Dutch
unfortunately falling, against their will, against them--the _Advice_,
Captain W. Poole, and _Antelope_, Captain Clerke.  The Dutch men-of-war
did little service.  Captain Allen, before he would fire one gun, come
within pistol-shot of the enemy.  The Spaniards, at Cales, did stand
laughing at the Dutch, to see them run away and flee to the shore, 34 or
thereabouts, against eight Englishmen at most."

"Captain Allen led the way, and himself writes that all the masters of
the fleet, old and young, were mistaken, and did carry their ships

"Captain Seale, of the _Milford_, hath done his part very well, in
boarding the _King Solomon_, which held out half-an-hour after she was
boarded; and his men kept her an hour after they did master her, and
then she sank, and drowned about 17 of her men."

He speaks, a few days afterwards, of meeting the owners of the
double-bottomed boat the _Experiment_, which again reminds us of the
plan, at present adopted, to guard ships against the effects of

On the 17th of April he heard an account of the capture of three
privateers, one of which was commanded by Admiral Everson's son.
Captain Golding, of the _Diamond_, was killed in the action.  "Two of
them, one of 32, and the other of 20 odd guns, did stand stoutly up
against her, which hath 46, and the _Yarmouth_ that hath 52, and as many
more men as they.  So that they did more than we could expect, not
yielding till many of their men were killed.  And Everson, when he was
brought before the Duke of York, and was observed to be shot through the
hat, answered, that he wished it had gone through his head, rather than
been taken.  One thing more is written; that two of our ships, the other
day, appearing upon the coast of Holland, they presently fired their
beacons round the country to give them notice.  And news is brought the
king, that the Dutch Smyrna fleet is seen upon the back of Scotland;
and, thereupon, the king hath wrote to the duke, that he do appoint a
fleet to go to the northward to try to meet them coming home round;
which God send!"

On the 28th he went down the river to visit the victualling ships,
"where I find all out of order."

On the 8th of June he writes: "Victory over the Dutch, June 3, 1665.
This day they engaged, the Dutch neglecting greatly the opportunity of
the wind they had of us, by which they lost the benefit of their
fire-ships.  The Earl of Falmouth, Muskerry, and Mr Richard Boyle
killed on board the duke's ship, the _Royall Charles_, with one shot,
their blood and brains flying in the duke's face, and the head of Mr
Boyle striking down the duke, as some say.  The Earle of Marlborough,
Portland, Rear-Admirall Sansum killed, and Capt. Kerby and Ableson.  Sir
John Lawson wounded, hath had some bones taken out, and is likely to be
well again.  Upon receiving the hurt, he sent to the duke for another to
command the _Royal Oake_.  The duke sent Jordan out of the _Saint
George_, who did brave things in her.  Capt. Jer. Smith, of the _Mary_,
was second to the duke, and stepped between him and Captain Seaton, of
the _Urania_ (76 guns and 400 men), who had sworn to board the duke,
killed him 200 men, and took the ship himself, losing 99 men, and never
an officer saved but himself and lieutenant.  His master, indeed, is
saved, with his leg cut off; Admiral Opdam blown up, Trump killed, and
said by Holmes; all the rest of their admiralls, as they say, but
Everson (whom they dare not trust for his affection to the Prince of
Orange), are killed, we having taken and sunk, as is believed, about 24
of their best ships, killed and taken 8 or 10,000 men, and lost, we
think, not above 700.  A greater victory never known in the world.  They
are all fled.  Some 43 got into the Texell, and others elsewhere, and we
in pursuit of the rest."

On the 16th he goes down to Whitehall, and hears more about the battle.
"Among other things, how my Lord Sandwich, both in his councils and
personal service, hath done most honourably and serviceably.  Jonas
Poole, in the _Vanguard_, did basely, so as to be, or will be, turned
out of his ship.  Captain Holmes expecting upon Sansum's death to be
made rear-admirall to the prince (but Harman is put in), hath delivered
up to the duke his commission, which the duke took and tore.  Several of
our captains have done ill.  The great ships are the ships to do the
business, they quite deadening the enemy.  They run away upon sight of
the prince.  Captain Smith, of the _Mary_, the duke talks mightily of,
and some great thing will be done for him.  Strange to hear how the
Dutch do relate, as the duke says, that they are the conquerors, and
bonfires are made in Dunkirke in their behalf, although a clearer
victory can never be expected.  Mr Coventry thinks they cannot have
lost less than 6000 men, and we not dead above 200, and wounded about
400; in all about 600.  Captain Grove, the duke told us this day, hath
done the basest thing at Lowestoffe, in hearing of the guns, and could
not (as others) be got out, but staid there, for which he will be tried,
and is reckoned a prating coxcombe, and of no courage."

The fleet did not escape the plague, which was at that time raging in
London.  On the 12th of August it appeared at Deptford, on board the
_Providence_ fire-ship, which was just fitting out to go to sea.

At Sheerness, a yard was in course of being laid out to lay provisions
for cleaning and repairing of ships, the most proper place for the

On the 19th the fleet came home, "to our great grief, with not above
five weeks dry and six weeks wet provisions, however, must go out again,
and the duke hath ordered the _Soveraigne_, and all other ships ready,
to go out to the fleet and strengthen them.  This news troubles us all,
but cannot be helped."

On the 9th of September, 1665, he meets Sir William Doyly and Evelyn at
supper: "And I with them full of discourse of the neglect of our
masters, the great officers of state, about all business, and especially
that of money, having now some thousands prisoners kept to no purpose,
at a great charge, and no money provided almost for the doing of it."

"Captain Cocke reports as a certain truth that all the Dutch fleet,
men-of-war and merchant East India ships, are got every one in from
Bergen, the 3rd of this month, Sunday last, which will make us all

On the 14th, however, he says: "A letter from my Lord Sandwich at
Solebay, of the fleet's meeting with about eighteen more of the Dutch
fleet, and his taking of most of them; and the messenger says, that they
had taken three after the letter was wrote and sealed, which being
twenty-one, and the fourteen took the other day, is forty-five sail,
some of which are good and others rich ships."

On the 18th he goes to Gravesend in the bezan yacht, and "by break of
day we come to within sight of the fleet, which was a very fine thing to
behold, being above 100 ships, great and small, with the flag-ships of
each squadron distinguished by their several flags on their main, fore,
or mizen-masts.  Among others, the _Soveraigne, Charles_, and _Prince_,
in the last of which my Lord Sandwich was.  And so we come on board, and
we find my Lord Sandwich newly up in his night-gown very well."

He attends a council of war on board, "When comes Sir W. Penn, Sir
Christopher Mingo, Sir Edward Spragg, Sir Jos. Jordan, Sir Thomas
Teddiman, and Sir Roger Omittance."  Sir Christopher Mings was one of
the bravest admirals of the day.  He was the son of a shoemaker, and had
worked his way up in the sea-service.  He was killed the following year,
June, 1666, in action with the Dutch.  Pepys describes him as "a very
witty, well-spoken fellow, and mighty free to tell his parentage, being
a shoemaker's son."

On the 25th of January, 1666, he writes: "It is now certain that the
King of France hath publickly declared war against us, and God knows how
little fit we are for it."

As an example of the way affairs were managed, he tells us that, viewing
the yard at Chatham, he observed, "among other things, a team of four
horses coming close by us, drawing a piece of timber that I am confident
one man could easily have carried upon his back.  I made the horses be
taken away, and a man or two to take the timber away with their hands."

Still more abominable was the way in which the wages of the unfortunate
seamen were kept back.  On the 7th of October, 1665, he writes: "Did
business, though not much, at the office, because of the horrible crowd
and lamentable moan of the poor seamen that lie starving in the streets
for lack of money, which do trouble and perplex me to the heart; and
more at noon, when we were to go through them, for then above a whole
hundred of them followed us, some cursing, some swearing, and some
praying to us."  He continues: "Want of money in the navy puts
everything out of order; men grown mutinous, and nobody here to mind the
business of the navy but myself."

On the 19th of May, 1666: "Mr Deane and I did discourse about his ship
_Rupert_, built by him, which succeeds so well as he hath got great
honour by it, and I some by recommending him--the king, duke, and
everybody saying it is the best ship that ever was built.  And, then, he
fell to explain to me his manner of casting the draught of water which a
ship will draw beforehand, which is a secret the king and all admire in
him; and he is the first that hath come to any certainty beforehand of
foretelling the draught of water of a ship before she be launched."

On the 4th he describes the fight between the English and Dutch, the
news brought by a Mr Daniel, "who was all muffled up, and his face as
black as the chimney, and covered with dirt, pitch, and tar, and powder,
and muffled with dirty clouts, and his right eye stopped with okum."
The English "found the Dutch fleet at anchor, between Dunkirke and
Ostend, and made them let slip their anchors; they about ninety and we
less than sixty.  We fought them and put them to the run, till they met
with about sixteen sail of fresh ships, and so bore up again.  The fight
continued till night, and then again the next morning from five till
seven at night.  And so, too, yesterday morning they began again, and
continued till about four o'clock, they chasing us for the most part of
Saturday, and yesterday we flying from them."  Prince Rupert's fleet,
however, was seen coming, "upon which De Ruyter called a council, and
thereupon their fleet divided into two squadrons--forty in one, and
about thirty in the other; the bigger to follow the duke, the less to
meet the prince.  But the prince come up with the generall's fleet, and
the Dutch come together again, and bore towards their own coast, and we
with them.  The duke was forced to come to anchor on Friday, having lost
his sails and rigging."

Some days afterwards he continues the description of the fight: "The
commanders, officers, and even the common seamen do condemn every part
of the late conduct of the Duke of Albemarle; running among them in his
retreat, and running the ships on ground; so as nothing can be worse
spoken of.  That Holmes, Spragg, and Smith do all the business, and the
old and wiser commanders nothing."

"We lost more after the prince came than before.  The _Prince_ was so
maimed, as to be forced to be towed home."  Among several commanders
killed in the action was Sir Christopher Mings.

He describes the affection the seamen entertained for those commanders
they esteemed: "About a dozen able, lusty, proper men come to the
coach-side with tears in their eyes, and one of them that spoke for the
rest begun and said to Sir W. Coventry, `We are here a dozen of us, that
have long known and loved and served our dead commander, Sir Christopher
Mings, and have now done the last office of laying him in the ground.
We would be glad we had any other to offer after him, and in revenge of
him.  All we have is our lives; if you will please to get His Royal
Highness to give us a fire-ship among us all, here are a dozen of us,
out of all which choose you one of us to be commander, and the rest of
us, whoever he is, will serve him; and, if possible, do that which shall
show our memory of our dead commander, and our revenge.'  Sir W.
Coventry was herewith much moved, as well as I, who could hardly abstain
from weeping."

"Sir Christopher Mings was a very stout man, and a man of great parts,
and most excellent tongue among ordinary men; and would have been a most
useful man at such a time as this."

He gives a deplorable account of the state of the navy, the neglect of
business by Charles and his brother, and the want of money.  On the 8th
of October, 1665, he writes: "I think of twenty-two ships, we shall make
shift to get out seven.  (God help us! men being sick, or provisions
lacking.)  There is nothing but discontent among the officers, and all
the old experienced men are slighted."

Speaking of the action with the Dutch, he says: "They do mightily insult
of their victory, and they have great reason.  Sir William Barkeley was
killed before his ship taken; and there he lies dead in a sugar-chest,
for everybody to see, with his flag standing up by him.  And Sir George
Ascue is carried up and down the Hague for people to see."

The abominable system of the press-gang was then in full force, and was
carried on with the same cruelty which existed till a much later period:
"To the Tower several times, about the business of the pressed men, and
late at it till twelve at night shipping of them.  But, Lord! how some
poor women did cry; and in my life I never did see such natural
expression of passion as I did here in some women bewailing themselves,
and running to every parcel of men that were brought one after another
to look for their husbands, and wept over every vessel that went off,
thinking they might be there, and looking after the ship as far as ever
they could by moone-light, that it grieved me to the heart to hear them.
Besides, to see poor, patient, labouring men and housekeepers leaving
poor wives and families, taken up on a sudden by strangers, was very
hard, and that without press-money, but forced against all law to be
gone.  It is a great tyranny."

The next morning he went "to Bridewell to see the pressed men, where
there are about 300; but so unruly that I durst not go among them; and
they have reason to be so, having been kept these three days prisoners,
with little or no victuals, and pressed out and contrary to all course
of law, without press-money, and men that are not liable to it."

"I found one of the vessels loaden with the Bridewell birds in a great
mutiny; I think it is much if they do not run the vessel on ground."

He continues: "With regard to the building of ten great ships, none to
be under third-rates; but it is impossible to do it, unless we have some

Sir W. Penn gives his advice as to the mode of fighting at sea: "We must
fight in a line, whereas we fight promiscuously, to our utter and
demonstrable ruin; the Dutch fighting otherwise; and we, whenever we
beat them. 2.  We must not desert ships of our own in distress, as we
did, for that makes a captain desperate, and he will fling away his ship
when there are no hopes left him of succour. 3rd.  That ships when they
are a little shattered must not take the liberty to come in of
themselves, but refit themselves the best they can, and stay out--many
of our ships coming in with very small disableness.  He told me that our
very commanders, nay, our very flag-officers, do stand in need of
exercising among themselves, and discoursing the business of commanding
a fleet; he telling me that even one of our flagmen in the fleet did not
know which tack lost the wind or kept it in the last engagement.  Then
in the business of forecastles, which he did oppose, all the world sees
now the use of them for shelter of men."

He observes that "we see many women now-a-days in the streets, but no
men; men being so afraid of the press."  He speaks of purchasing "four
or five tons of corke, to send this day to the fleet, being a new device
to make barricados with, instead of junke."  The importance of
protecting men against shot was even then, it will be seen, thought of.

On the 10th he goes "to the office; the yard being very full of women
coming to get money for their husbands and friends that are prisoners in
Holland; and they lay clamouring and swearing and cursing us, that my
wife and I were afraid to send a venison-pasty that we have for supper
to-night, to the cook's to be baked."

On the 23rd July Sir W. Coventry talks to him of the "_Loyal London_
(which, by the way, he commends to be the best ship in the world, large
and small) hath above eight hundred men.  The first guns made for her
all bursted, but others were made, which answered better."

Speaking of the late battle, he remarks that "the _Resolution_ had all
brass guns, being the same that Sir John Lawson had in her in the
Straights.  It is to be observed that the two fleets were even in number
to one ship."

Sir W. Coventry "spoke slightingly of the Duke of Albemarle, saying,
when De Ruyter come to give him a broadside--`Now,' says he (chewing of
tobacco the while), `will this fellow come and give me two broadsides,
and then he shall run;' but it seems he held him to it two hours, till
the duke himself was forced to retreat to refit, and was towed off, and
De Ruyter staid for him till he come back again to fight.  One in the
ship saying to the duke, `Sir, methinks De Ruyter hath given us more
than two broadsides.'  `Well,' says the duke, `but you shall find him
run by-and-by,' and so he did, but after the duke himself had been first
made to fall of."

From the accounts he gives of the condition of the navy, it is
surprising that our ships were not everywhere beaten.  On the 20th of
October he writes: "Commissioner Middleton says that the fleet was in
such a condition as to discipline, as if the devil had commanded it; so
much wickedness of all sorts.  Enquiring how it came to pass that so
many ships had miscarried this year, he tells me that the pilots do say
that they dare not do nor go but as the captains will have them; and if
they offer to do otherwise, the captains swear they will run them
through.  That he heard Captain Digby (my Lord of Bristoll's son, a
young fellow that never was but one year, if that, in the fleet) say
that he did hope he should not see a tarpawlin have the command of a
ship within this twelve months"--tarpaulin being the common name applied
to a sailor in those days.

On the 19th: "Nothing but distraction and confusion in the affairs of
the navy."

On the 28th he adds: "Captain Guy to dine with me.  He cries out of the
discipline of the fleet, and confesses really that the true English
valour we talk of is almost spent and worn out; few of the commanders
doing what they should do, and he much fears we shall therefore be
beaten the next year.  He assures me we were beaten home the last June
fight, and that the whole fleet was ashamed to hear of our bonfires.
The _Revenge_ having her forecastle blown up with powder to the killing
of some men in the river, and the _Dyamond_ being overset in the
careening at Sheerness, are further marks of the method all the king's
work is now done in.  The _Foresight_ also and another come to disasters
in the same place this week in the cleaning."

On the 2nd of November he describes the _Ruby_, French prize, "the only
ship of war we have taken from any of our enemies this year.  It seems a
very good ship, but with galleries quite round the sterne to walk in as
a balcone, which will be taken down."

News of the Dutch having been seen off the mouth of the Thames alarms
every one; and on the 24th of March, 1667, he writes: "By-and-by to the
Duke of Yorke, where we all met, and there was the king also; and all
our discourse was about fortifying of the Medway and Harwich; and here
they advised with Sir Godfrey Lloyd and Sir Bernard de Gunn, the two
great engineers, and had the plates drawn before them; and indeed all
their care they now take is to fortify themselves, and are not ashamed
of it."

On the 9th of June he writes: "I find an order come for the getting some
fire-ships presently to annoy the Dutch, who are in the king's channel,
and expected up higher."

The next day: "News brought us that the Dutch are come up as high as the
Nore; and more pressing orders for fire-ships.  We all went down to
Deptford, and pitched upon ships and set men at work, but, Lord! to see
how backwardly things move at this pinch, notwithstanding that by the
enemy being now come up as high as almost the Hope."

Anxiety and terror prevailed in the city, and people were removing their
goods--the thoughtful Mr Pepys making a girdle to carry 300 pounds in
gold about his body.  The alarm is further increased when a neighbour
comes up from Chatham, and tells him that that afternoon he "saw the
_Royal James_, the _Oake_, and _London_ burnt by the enemy with their
fire-ships; that two or three men-of-war come up with them, and made no
more of Upnor Castle's shooting than of a fly; that the Dutch are
fitting out the _Royal Charles_."

Ships were to be sunk in the river, about Woolwich, to prevent the Dutch
coming up higher.

"The masters of the ships that are lately taken up, do keep from their
ships all their stores, or as much as they can, so that we cannot
despatch them, having not time to appraise them, nor secure their
payment.  Only some little money we have, which we are fain to pay the
men we have with every night, or they will not work.  And, indeed, the
hearts as well as the affections of the seamen are turned away; and in
the open streets in Wapping, and up and down, the wives have cried
publickly, `This comes of not paying our husbands; and now your work is
undone, or done by hands that understand it not.'"

Some of the men, "instead of being at work at Deptford, where they were
intended, do come to the office this morning to demand the payment of
their tickets; for otherwise they would, they said, do no more work; and
are, as I understand from everybody that has to do with them, the most
debauched, swearing rogues that ever were in the navy, just like their
prophane commander."

"Nothing but carelessness lost the _Royal Charles_, for they might have
saved her the very tide that the Dutch came up.  The Dutch did take her
with a boat of nine men, who found not a man on board her; and presently
a man went up and struck her flag, and jacke, and a trumpeter sounded
upon her, `Joan's placket is torn;' they did carry her down at a time,
both for tides and wind, when the best pilot in Chatham would not have
undertaken it, they heeling her on one side to make her draw little
water, and so carried her away safe."

"It is a sad sight to see so many good ships there sunk in the river,
while we would be thought to be masters of the sea."

He also examines the chain which had been carried across the river, "and
caused the link to be measured, and it was six inches and one-fourth in

He commends the Dutch "for the care they do take to encourage their men
to provide great stores of boats to save them; while we have not credit
to find one boat for a ship."  The English mode "of preparing of
fire-ships," he observes, "do not do the work, for the fire not being
strong and quick enough to flame up, so as to take the rigging and
sails, lies smothering a great while, half-an-hour before it flames, in
which time they can get the fire-ships off safely.  But what a shame it
is to consider how two of our ship's companies did desert their ships.
And one more company did set their ship on fire and leave her; which
afterwards a Feversham fisherman came up to, and put out the fire, and
carried safe into Feversham, where she now is.  It was only want of
courage, and a general dismay and abjectness of spirit upon all our men;
God Almighty's curse upon all that we have in hand, for never such an
opportunity was of destroying so many good ships of theirs as we now

To replace the _Royal Charles_ carried away, a new ship was launched on
the 4th of March, 1668, called the _Charles_; "God send her better luck
than the former."

At a Privy Council which he attended, "to discourse about the fitness of
entering of men presently for the manning of the fleet, before one ship
is in condition to receive them," the king observed, "`If ever you
intend to man the fleet without being cheated by the captains and
pursers, you may go to bed and resolve never to have it manned.'"

At another council he speaks of "a proposition made to the Duke of York
by Captain Von Hemskirke, for 20,000 pounds to discover an art how to
make a ship go two feet for one what any ship do now, which the king
inclines to try, it costing him nothing to try; and it is referred to us
to contract with the man."  He afterwards says that the secret was only
to make her sail a third faster than any other ship.

On the 25th of March, 1669, a court-martial was held about the loss of
the _Defyance_.  The sentence was, "That the gunner of the _Defyance_
should stand upon the _Charles_ three hours with his fault writ upon his
breast, and with a halter about his neck, and so be made incapable of
any service."  The ship was burnt by the gunner allowing a girl to carry
a fire into his cabin.

Whatever our shortcomings in regard to naval affairs, it is pleasant to
believe that they cannot possibly be so great as in the days of Mr
Samuel Pepys.



One of the last acts of James was to send a fleet under the command of
Lord Dartmouth to intercept that of William of Orange, which it was
known was on the point of sailing.  On board the Dutch fleet was Admiral
Herbert, acting as commander-in-chief, though all the officers were
Dutch.  It was hoped that he would win over the English fleet.  As it
proved, both the officers and men of the navy were as ill-affected to
James as were those of the army.  Thus, as an old writer observes, "that
naval force which James had cultivated with so much care, and on which
he depended so much, proved of no use--so difficult a thing is it to
bring Englishmen to enslave England."

The Dutch fleet consisted of about 50 men-of-war, 25 fire-ships, and
near 400 transports and victuallers and other vessels, carrying about
4000 horse and 10,000 foot.  Admiral Herbert led the van of the fleet,
Vice-Admiral Evertzen brought up the rear, and the prince himself was in
the centre, carrying a flag with English colours, and their highnesses'
arms surrounded with this motto, "The Protestant Religion and the
Liberties of England," and underneath the motto of the House of Nassau,
"Je Maintiendrai," "I will maintain."

After being driven back by a storm, the fleet came to an anchor in
Torbay on the 4th of November.  The prince wished to land that day, it
being the one on which he was born and married, and he fancied that it
would look auspicious to the army, and animate the soldiers, but the
general wish was that he should not land till the following, being
Gunpowder Treason day, that their landing on that day might have a good
effect on the minds of the English.  No sooner had the Dutch fleet got
into harbour than a heavy storm sprang up from the westward, which
compelled the English fleet to run into Portsmouth, from which they
could not again issue till William had won the day.  When Lord Dartmouth
was able to leave the port he conducted the fleet to the Downs, and
there holding council of war, it was resolved--first, to dismiss from
their commands all such officers as were known to be papists, and then
to send up an address to his highness setting forth their steady
affection to the Protestant religion, and their sincere concern for the
safety, freedom, and honour of their country.

Not long after this the ships were dispersed, some to the dockyards to
be dismantled and laid up, others to be cleaned and repaired, and such
as were in the best condition for sea were appointed for necessary
services.  The first service in which Admiral Herbert was employed was
to endeavour to intercept the French fleet which had sailed for Ireland
to support the landing of King James.  On the 1st of May, 1689, the
English admiral discovered the enemy's ships at anchor in Bantry Bay;
when the French stood out to sea in a well-formed line of battle to meet
him.  After a warm engagement of some hours the two fleets separated,
when the French, claiming the victory, retired into Bantry Bay, and the
English towards Scilly.  After waiting for reinforcements in the chops
of the channel, none arriving, Admiral Herbert returned to Portsmouth.
Notwithstanding his ill-success, the king, in gratitude for the services
he had before rendered him, created him Earl of Torrington, while
Captains John Ashby, and Cloudesly Shovel were knighted.  In 1690 Sir
Cloudesly Shovel commanded a squadron of six men-of-war, which escorted
the fleet of transports conveying King William's forces to
Carrickfergus, in Ireland.  The Earl of Torrington, when in command of
the combined English and Dutch squadrons in the channel, on the 30th of
June, fell in with the French fleet commanded by the Count de Tourville
between Cherbourg and the Isle of Wight.  The combined fleets amounted
to 56 ships only, while the French possessed 78 men-of-war and 22
fire-ships.  The Dutch and Blue Squadrons being surrounded by the
French, after making a gallant defence, were rescued by the Earl of
Torrington.  After this, finding that no impression could be made on the
French fleet, it was decided in a council of war that it would be wiser
to destroy the disabled ships than, by protecting them, hazard an
engagement.  The _Anne_, of 70 guns, which was dismasted, was forced on
shore and destroyed.  The enemy also attempted to destroy a Dutch 64
which was driven on shore, but her commander defended her with so much
bravery, that he compelled the French to desist, and she, being got off,
arrived safe in Holland.  The earl then retreated into the Thames,
leaving a few frigates to observe and watch the motions of the enemy,
who remained masters of the channel.  In consequence of his conduct, the
earl was brought to a court-martial, but having ably defended himself,
he was unanimously acquitted.  The king, notwithstanding, to appease the
clamours of the nation and the Dutch, took away his commission.

He was succeeded in the command of the fleet by Admiral Russell, who,
greatly owing to the energetic proceedings of Queen Mary, while the king
was absent in Ireland, had, by May, 1691, a squadron of considerable
force, equipped and ready for sea, at his disposal.  So elevated were
the French at their unusual success, that they had the following
inscription engraved on the stern of a new first-rate ship of war named
the _Saint Louis_:--

"I, on the ocean, am the mightiest thing, As on the land, is my
all-potent king."

English men-of-war were ere long, however, to teach them to sing a
different note.  A fleet of ninety-nine sail, including the Dutch ships,
was got ready by May, 1692.  The English fleet was divided into two
squadrons, the Red and the Blue.  Among the ships we find the names of
many which have become famous in naval history.  There were six ships of
100 guns each.  In the Red Squadron there was the _Britannia_, carrying
the flag of Admiral Russell; the _Royal Sovereign_, that of Vice-Admiral
Sir Ralph Delaval; the _London_, that of the rear-admiral, Sir Cloudesly
Shovel; the _Sandwich_, of 90 guns; the _Swiftsure, Hampton Court,
Eagle_, and _Captain_; of 70; the _Ruby, Oxford_, and _Centurion_, of
50.  In the Blue Squadron there were the _Victory_, of 100 guns, with
the flag of Admiral Sir John Ashby; the _Windsor Castle_, with that of
Vice-Admiral Sir George Rooke; the _Neptune_, of 96 guns; the
_Albemarle_ and _Vanguard_, of 90 guns; the _Royal Oak_, of 74; the
_Northumberland, Berwick, Warspight, Monmouth_, and _Edgar_, of 70; the
_Lion_ and _Dreadnought_, of 60--names long known in the British Navy.
Altogether, the English fleet carried 4504 guns, and 27,725 men.  The
Dutch fleet carried rather more than half the number of guns, and less
than half the number of men.  No more powerful fleet had ever yet
ploughed the ocean--it was, probably, immeasurably more so than that
which encountered the Spanish Armada; while the commanders were as
expert and daring as their predecessors, the seamen were infinitely
better trained.

The combined fleet sailed from Spithead on the 18th of May, and stood
across to the coast of France.  The _Chester_ and _Charles_ galleys,
being sent ahead, just at dawn on the 19th, Cape Barfleur bearing
south-west by south, distant about seven leagues, made the signal of the
French fleet being in sight, by firing some guns.  Admiral Russell
thereon ordered his fleet to form a line of battle, and directed the
rear to attack, so that, should the French stand to the northward, they
might the sooner come up and engage.  As the sun rose above the ocean on
that May morning, soon after four o'clock, the enemy were seen standing
southward, forming their line on the same tack as that of the allied
squadrons.  The French admiral, De Tourville, who had till now supposed
that he was about to meet only a portion of the English fleet,
nevertheless considering that their hasty retreat would cause a
confusion which might prove more hazardous than the battle itself,
continued his orders for the engagement, and bore down on the allies.
Admiral Russell on seeing this, annulled the signal for the rear to
attack, and bore away to join the leeward-most ships, and formed a line
ahead in close order of sailing.  The French advanced till within
musket-shot of the English line, when, hauling up to windward, the
_Soleil Royal_, at 11:30 a.m., opened fire upon the _Britannia_.  De
Tourville's object was to cut through the English line, but in
consequence of the light breeze having dwindled to a calm, in bearing up
as he did the French admiral lost his advantage.  The _Soleil Royal_ and
the _Britannia_ thus lay for an hour and a quarter about three-quarter's
musket-shot of each other, the English plying their guns so warmly, that
the Frenchman was in that time dreadfully cut up in his rigging, sails,
and yards; it being evident, also, that he had lost a great many men,
for no effort was being made to repair damages.  So actively did the
English gunners work their pieces, that it was reckoned that during the
whole fight they fired at least three broadsides while the French fired
two.  Captains Churchill and Aylmer who had come up to assist the
admiral, had six of the enemy's largest ships to deal with; while Sir
Cloudesly Shovel, who had got to windward, briskly plied the Count de
Tourville's squadron.  As the day advanced, however, a dense fog came
on, so that in a short time not a ship of the enemy could be seen, and
the English, for fear of injuring their friends, ceased firing.  The
ships which had not yet got into action on account of the calm, had
their boats ahead, and used their utmost endeavours to tow them into the
fight.  The English fire-ships had, however, been put to good use,
having burnt four of the enemy's ships.  The killed and wounded were
already numerous; the _Eagle_ alone having 70 men killed and 150
wounded.  Among the former were Rear-Admiral Carter, and Captain
Hastings of the _Sandwich_.

Night coming on, the darkness, increased by the thick fog, put an end to
the fight for that day.  On the morning of the 10th a portion of the
French fleet was discovered, when, the wind springing up, a general
chase was ordered.  This continued till 4 p.m., when, the wind shifting
to the southward, and the ebb ceasing, both fleets anchored and furled

On the 21st the fleet anchored near the Race of Alderney, Cape La Hogue,
bearing about south.  Twenty-three of the French ships had anchored
still nearer the Race, and fifteen others about three leagues to the
westward.  The flood-tide setting in strong, a number of the French
ships were observed to be driving; on this Admiral Russell threw out a
signal to Vice-Admiral Delaval to stand inshore and destroy them.  On
following out his directions, he found the _Soleil Royal_ and two others
aground, close to the beach.  Finding, however, that his ships drew too
much water, he sent in three fire-ships, embarking in one of them
himself.  He succeeded in burning two of the three-deckers, but another
fire-ship was sunk by the enemy's shot.  The _Saint Albans_ and _Ruby_
standing in, now attacked a third French ship, when Vice-Admiral
Delaval, observing that her crew had deserted their guns, boarded.  On
finding dead and wounded men alone on her decks, he ordered the latter
to be removed, and then set the ship on fire.

One of the fire-ships, commanded by Captain Fowlis, who was conducting
her against the _Soleil Royal_, was set on fire by her shot, though he
and his crew escaped.  Captain Heath, however, succeeded in burning her
with another fire-ship, in the most gallant manner.  The _Conquirant_
was burnt by Captain Greenaway, and the _Admirable_ by the boats.  The
greater number of the enemy's ships had run in for shelter close to the
shore.  Accordingly, on the 23rd of May, Admiral Russell despatched
Vice-Admiral Rooke with a squadron of men-of-war, frigates, and
fire-ships, and the boats of the fleet, to destroy those ships.  It was
found, however, that the small frigates alone could advance near enough
to effect anything.  The boats, however, gallantly led by Rooke, pulled
in at night and destroyed seven of them, and the next morning, again
pulling in, burnt eight, with several transports and ammunition vessels.
Several of the ships were first boarded, and the French, with their own
guns, driven from their platforms and batteries on shore; and this was
done in sight of the French and Irish camps, which lay ready to invade
England.  Altogether, sixteen sail of the line and numerous transports
were destroyed.  The victory was complete, and the annihilation of the
French fleet entirely dissipating the hopes of James, its effect
contributed greatly to place William the Third on his throne.
Vice-Admiral Rooke, who became one of England's greatest admirals, was
knighted for his gallantry on this occasion.

While some of the ships returned to Spithead, a considerable portion
were stationed in different parts of the channel to watch the French
fleet, and to prevent them making their way either to the eastward or

Among the gallant men who have contributed to the naval glory of
England, the name of John Benbow must ever be had in remembrance.  His
father, Colonel Benbow, was one of those true-hearted cavaliers who
fought bravely for their king to the last, and having seen one of his
brothers shot by the Parliamentary forces, he made his escape, till an
amnesty being granted, he was able to return and live in private in
England.  His fortune having been expended, he was glad to accept a
small office belonging to the Ordnance, in the Tower.  On the breaking
out of the first Dutch war, the king came to examine the magazines.
Charles, whose memory was as quick as his eye, recognised the veteran,
who had for twenty years been distinguished by a fine head of grey hair.
"My old friend, Colonel Benbow," said he, "what do you here?"

"I have," returned the colonel, "a place of 80 pounds a-year, in which I
serve your majesty as cheerfully as if it brought me in 4000 pounds

"Alas!" said the king, "is that all that could be found for an old
friend of Worcester?  Colonel Legge, bring this gentleman to me
to-morrow, and I will provide for him and his family as it becomes me."

Short as the time was, the colonel did not live to claim the royal
promise; for, overcome by the king's unexpected gratitude, sitting down
on a bench, he there breathed his last before his majesty was well out
of the tower.  Whatever might have been the king's intentions, he
thought no more of the old cavalier's family, and the colonel's son,
John, went to sea in a merchant-vessel, and shortly became owner and
commander of a ship, called the _Benbow_ frigate.  No man was better
known or more respected by the merchants upon the Exchange.  The
following anecdote shows his character, and is in accordance with the
spirit of the times in which he lived.  In the year 1688 he was, while
in command of the _Benbow_ frigate, attacked on his passage to Cadiz by
a Sallee rover of far superior force, against which he defended himself
with the utmost bravery.  At last the Moors boarded him, but were
quickly beaten out of his ship again with the loss of thirteen men,
whose heads Captain Benbow ordered to be taken off, and thrown into a
tub of pork pickle.  On reaching Cadiz he went on shore, ordering a
negro servant to follow him with the Moors' heads in a sack.  Scarcely
had he landed when the officers of the revenue inquired of the servant
what he had in his sack.  The captain answered, "Salt provisions for his
own use."

"That may be," answered the officers, "but we must insist upon seeing
them."  Captain Benbow said that he was no stranger there, that he was
not accustomed to run goods, and pretended to take it very ill that he
was thus suspected.  The officers told him that the magistrates were
sitting not far off, and if they were satisfied, the servant might carry
the provisions where he pleased.  The captain consented to the proposal,
and away they marched to the custom-house.  The magistrates, when he
came before them, treated Captain Benbow with great civility, telling
him that they were sorry to make a point of such a trifle, but that
since he refused to show the contents of his sack to their officers,
they were compelled to demand a sight of them.

"I told you," said the captain, sternly, "they were salt provisions for
my own use.  Cassar, throw them down upon the table; and, gentlemen, if
you like them, they are at your service."

The Spaniards were much struck at the sight of the Moors' heads, and no
less so at the account the captain gave them of his engagement, and
defeat of so large a force of barbarians.  They sent an account of the
whole matter to the court at Madrid, and the King of Spain was so much
pleased with it, that he requested to see the English captain, who made
a journey to court, where he was received with much respect, and not
only dismissed with a handsome present, but the king was to write a
letter on his behalf to King James, who, upon his return, gave him a
ship, which was his introduction to the Royal Navy.

He had always been looked upon as a bold, brave, and active commander,
and one who, though he maintained strict discipline, took care of, and
was therefore cheerfully obeyed by, his seamen.  He maintained the same
character in the Royal Navy, and was ever beloved and honoured by his
ships' companies.  As the channel was much infested by French
privateers, a large number of which were fitted out at Saint Malo, it
had been considered advisable to destroy that town and the vessels
within its harbour.  Captain Benbow, with a squadron of twelve ships of
the line, four bomb-galliots, ten or twelve frigates, and several
sloops, having crossed the channel, entered the harbour and came to an
anchor within half-a-mile of the town.  The ships then opened fire, and
continued battering away at the place till four in the morning, when
they were compelled to come out to prevent grounding.  Two successive
days they continued doing the same, firing seventy bombs one day, but
with frequent intermissions, inducing the inhabitants to believe that
they were about to retire.  The captain had, however, prepared a
fire-ship, with which it was intended to have reduced the town to ashes.
This vessel was a new galliot, of about 300 tons.  In the bottom of the
hold were placed above a hundred barrels of powder, covered with pitch,
tar, resin, brimstone, and faggots.  Over this was a row of thick planks
or beams, with holes pierced through them in order to communicate the
fire from above, and upon them were placed 340 carcases filled with
grenadoes, cannon-balls, iron chains, firearms loaded with ball, large
pieces of metal wrapped up in tarpaulins, and other combustible matters.
This craft was sent in before the wind, and was near the very foot of
the wall where it was to be fastened, when a sudden gust of wind drove
it upon a rock, where it stuck, near the place where it was intended to
have blown up.  The engineer, however, had time to set fire to it before
he retired.  It blew up soon afterwards, but the carcases, which were to
have done the greatest execution, being wet, did not take fire; yet the
shock was so terrible, that it threw down part of the town wall, shook
every house in the town, and overthrew the roofs of above 300 which were
nearest.  The capstan, weighing above a ton, was thrown over the wall on
the top of a house, which it beat down.  A similar machine had been used
for blowing up the bridge at the siege of Antwerp in 1585.

In 1694 another expedition, under the command of Sir Cloudesly Shovel,
was sent to the coast of Flanders, for the purpose of destroying the
town of Dunkirk.  Previous attacks had been made on the coast of France
of a similar character.  Mr Meesters, the inventor of some infernal
machines, accompanied the expedition.  He requested that a captain might
be appointed to the command of the smaller craft, and Captain Benbow was
accordingly directed to take command of the bomb-galliots and
fire-ships.  Owing to numerous delays, the French having got notice of
the intended attack, had time to make preparations for defeating it,
which resulted in the loss of several ships.  Dieppe, however, had been
bombarded, when 1100 bombs and carcases were thrown into it with such
success, that the town was set on fire in several places, and the
townsmen and some regiments sent to their assistance had to beat a rapid

An infernal machine, such as has before been described, was blown up at
the pierhead.  It made a frightful noise, but did little execution,
occasioned, as was supposed, by the pierhead lying too low.  The fuzee
having gone out, Captain Dunbar, who commanded the vessel, again went on
board and set fire to it in the most gallant manner.

Havre-de-Grace was likewise bombarded, when the town was set in flames.
Bad weather coming on, the bomb-vessels were ordered off, the mortars
being either melted or the vessels so shattered, that no present use
could be made of them.  One of them, the _Granado_, was entirely blown
to pieces by a bomb, which fell into her.  It was it hoped, however,
that Sir Cloudesly's expedition would be more successful.
Notwithstanding a heavy fire from a French frigate in the roads, from
numerous forts, and from five other frigates near the basin, Captain
Benbow carried his vessels and boats close up to the town, and came off
again in the night without any damage.  The next day, the weather being
fair, the boats and vessels were again sent in, when the French frigate,
after firing her broadside, ran in to the pier.  In the afternoon, two
infernal machines were blown up at a little distance from the pierhead,
but without doing any damage, except to the crew of the boat which towed
them in, who were all blown up on board.  The French, also, having
driven piles outside the pierheads, and sunk four ships, it was found
impossible to approach nearer the town, and the undertaking was
therefore abandoned.  This is one of the many instances which prove that
fire-ships, if resolutely met by the enemy against whom they are
intended to act, are not capable of effecting much damage.

A remarkable instance of promotion for gallant conduct occurred early in
the reign of William and Mary.  On the 25th of March, 1689, the 36-gun
frigate _Nonsuch_, Captain Roome Coyle, fell in with two French ships,
one mounting 30, the other 22 guns, off Guernsey.  He without hesitation
engaged them, when he and the master being killed, and there being no
lieutenant on board, the boatswain, Robert Simcock, took the command.
So spiritedly did the brave boatswain continue the action, that both
French ships were captured.  For his gallant conduct Mr Simcock, on
reaching Portsmouth with his prize, was forthwith promoted to the rank
of captain, and appointed to command the _Nonsuch_.

Next year a ship called the _Friends' Adventure_, belonging to Exeter,
was captured by a French privateer, who took out of her the master and
five of his men, leaving on board only the mate, Robert Lyde, of
Topsham, twenty-three years of age, and John Wright, a boy of sixteen,
with seven Frenchmen, who had orders to navigate the ship to Saint Malo.
When off Cape la Hogue, a strong wind springing up, drove them off the
French coast.  Lyde now began to entertain hopes of recovering the ship,
and on the 6th of March he and his companion took the opportunity, while
two of the Frenchmen were at the pump, one at the helm, one on the
forecastle, and three asleep in the cabin, to attack them.  Lyde with an
iron crowbar killed one of the men at the pump, and knocked down the
other at one blow.  Wright at the same moment knocked down the man on
the forecastle, and they then secured the man at the helm.  One of the
Frenchmen hearing a scuffle, and running up from between decks to the
assistance of his companions, was wounded by the mate, but the two
others coming to his relief seized and had nearly secured the gallant
fellow, when the boy, bravely hurrying to his aid, after a sharp
struggle, killed one and gave the other quarter.  Having thus made
themselves masters of the ship, they put the two disabled men into bed,
ordering a third to look after them, and secured them between decks.
One they kept bound in the steerage, and made use of the remaining man
to navigate the vessel, which, on the 9th of March, they brought safely
into Topsham, with their five prisoners on board.

About the same time the sloop _Tryal_ was captured by a French
man-of-war, who put five Frenchmen on board, leaving only the master,
Richard Griffiths, afterwards Captain Griffiths, commonly known by the
name of "Honour and Glory," and a boy, John Codamon, in the sloop.
Griffiths and his boy having formed their design, suddenly set upon the
five Frenchmen, and, having wounded three and forced all five down into
the hold, carried their vessel with their prisoners safe into Falmouth.

I give these instances to show the stuff out of which the commanders and
crews of men-of-war were formed in those days.  They show, also, that
the authorities who governed the navy appreciated bravery, and were
ready to obtain the services of such gallant fellows for the advantage
of the country.

We find fire-ships at this period universally sent to sea with fleets.
Sir Francis Waller, on board the _Sussex_, was ordered to proceed to
Cadiz, and from thence to convoy the merchant-vessels he might find
there to Turkey or any ports in Spain or Italy.  His fleet consisted of
fifteen third-rates, seven fourth-rates, one fifth-rate, six fire-ships,
two bomb-vessels, a hospital-ship, and a store-ship in company with
several Dutch ships of war.  Having touched at Gibraltar, he again put
to sea, and met with gales of wind; and ultimately, in thick weather, he
with part of his fleet running to the straits mistook the entrance.  The
_Sussex_, with 550 men on board, foundered, two Moors only escaping.
The admiral's body was afterwards discovered on shore much mangled.
Besides this loss, 409 were drowned belonging to various ships which
were either driven on shore or foundered.  Among them was the
_Cambridge_, a ship of 70 guns, and the _Lumley Castle_.

On most occasions the fire-ships, being generally old vessels fit for no
other purpose, were the chief sufferers.  A Dutch ship of 70 guns ran on
shore, but was got off again, as were several other ships; indeed, few
escaped without much damage.  This was the most violent storm that had
ever been known in those seas since the memory of man.

William was now taking measures for retrieving the honour of the British
Flag, and appointed Admiral Russell commander-in-chief of the navy, and
several other eminent officers to form a new commission of admiralty.
He also, finding that the pay of sea-officers was less than that of
other countries, directed that the sea pay of flag-officers, commanders,
lieutenants, masters, and surgeons should be doubled; as also that all
flag-officers and captains of first, second, third, fourth, and
fifth-rate ships, and also the masters of first, second, and
third-rates, who had served a year in the same post in the ships of
those rates, or been in a general engagement, should have half-pay while
on shore, to be paid quarterly out of the general estimate of the navy.
From this it is evident that they before this time, as also those of
other ranks, received no half-pay while on shore.  It was also ordered
that only such commissioned officers as had been put in by the
Admiralty, and warrant officers as had been put in by the Navy Board,
should receive the benefit of half-pay; that half-pay officers be
expected to assist the Navy Board; that no convoy money be demanded or
received under the penalty of forfeiting and losing employment for ever;
that the commanders transmit to the Admiralty when and why they came
into port.

The French had not abandoned their design of restoring James the Second
to the throne.  He had abdicated, and in 1696, while most of the British
ships were laid up, and the rest were employed in the protection of the
trade up the Mediterranean, it was discovered that 500 transports were
in Dunkirk ready to take on board an army of 20,000 men, under the
escort of fifteen sail of men-of-war, for the invasion of England.
While these preparations were making, and every ship was of consequence,
the _Royal Sovereign_, laid up at Chatham to be rebuilt, took fire, and
was totally consumed.  She was the first great ship that ever was built
in England.  The great object then was only to exhibit as much splendour
and magnificence as possible.  In the reign of Charles the Second,
however, being taken down a deck lower, she became one of the best
men-of-war in the world, and so formidable to her enemies, that none of
the most daring among them would willingly lie by her side.  She had
been in almost all the great engagements that had been fought between
England and Holland, and in the last fight between the English and
French, when she compelled the _Soleil Royal_ to fly for shelter among
the rocks.  At length, leaky and defective with age, she was laid up at
Chatham, in order, as has been said, to be rebuilt.

In the year 1691 the first mention is made of a regular regiment of
marines being raised to serve on board ship.  In this year one dry and
two wet docks were ordered to be constructed at Portsmouth, and orders
were given to survey the harbour of Falmouth, and report whether it was
capable of being made a proper port for the refitting and docking ships
of the Royal Navy.

It was not till the year 1693 that men-of-war on the home service were
allowed to carry to sea spare topmasts and sails.

In 1694 the king, by the advice of the excellent Queen Mary, granted the
royal palace of Greenwich to be converted into a hospital for decayed
seamen in the Royal Navy.  Sir Christopher Wren was appointed as
architect, and an annual sum of money was granted to complete and extend
the buildings.  The foundation of the first new building was laid on the
3rd of June, 1696.

In the same year the landmark on the beach at Stoke, near Gosport,
called the Kicker, was erected, and the buoy of the horse placed at
Spithead, for the better security of ships going into Portsmouth
Harbour.  Some docks were made at Plymouth, and storehouses, as also
residences for the accommodation of the officers of the dockyard, were

In 1695 brass box-compasses were invented and allowed to the ships in
the Royal Navy.  Many ships having been wrecked upon the Eddystone Rock
off Plymouth, an application was made to the Trinity House to erect a
lighthouse on it, which was begun to be built in 1696, and was finished
in three years.  Many masters and owners of ships agreed to pay one
penny per ton outwards and inwards, to assist in defraying the expense.

In 1696 an Act of Parliament was passed to establish a register for
30,000 seamen, to be in readiness at all times for supplying the Royal
Navy.  They were to have a bounty of forty shillings yearly.  None but
such registered seamen were to be preferred to the rank of commissioned
or warrant officers in the Royal Navy.  They were likewise entitled to a
double share in all prizes, and when maimed or superannuated, were
admitted into Greenwich Hospital.  The widows and children of such
registered seamen who might be killed in the service were admissible
into that hospital.  It was also enacted that sixpence per month should
be deducted from the wages of all seamen both in the merchant-service as
well as in the Royal Navy, for the support of Greenwich Hospital.

A composition was invented to be laid on the bottoms of ships to
preserve them against worms.  The experiment was ordered to be tried on
his majesty's ship the _Sheerness_.

In 1696 the Parliament voted 2,372,197 pounds for the maintenance of
40,000 seamen and two regiments of marines, the ordinary of the navy,
and the charge of the registry of seamen.  This was the largest sum by
far hitherto voted for the maintenance of the navy.

In 1697 Commissioner Greenhill proposed a plan for rowing of ships in a
calm, which was tried on board His Majesty's ship the _Experiment_.

In 1700 the rate of pay of sea-officers was again reduced.  It was far
less than that of the French; the French admiral having 1500 pounds per
annum for his table-money, whereas the English admiral had only 365
pounds, no allowance whatever being made to other admirals, unless

For several years the West Indies and Spanish Main had been infested by
the buccaneers, who plundered without distinction the ships of all
nations, but particularly those of the Spaniards.  Several were taken,
among the most notorious of whom was Captain Kidd, who, being brought to
England and tried at the Old Bailey, was fully convicted, and executed
with several of his companions.  The immense property which Kidd had
amassed was given for the support of Greenwich Hospital.  The Earl of
Bellamont, Governor of New England, and others, were accused in
Parliament of favouring Kidd, and giving him a commission, but the
charges were refuted.

On the 25th of July, 1701, a new _Royal Sovereign_, of 110 guns, was
launched at Woolwich.  She was the largest ship in the navy, the length
of her keel was 146 feet 6 inches, and from the top of the taffrail to
the fore-part of the figure-head, 210 feet 7 inches; her extreme breadth
being 54 feet 3 and a half inches.

Several actions exhibiting extraordinary courage, performed during the
war with France, are worthy of notice.  On the 30th of May, 1695,
William Thompson, master of a fishing-boat belonging to Poole, in
Dorsetshire, with a crew of one man and a boy, observed a French sloop
privateer standing towards him.  He had but two swivel guns and a few
muskets; the privateer had two guns, several small-arms, and sixteen
men.  Thompson, finding that his small crew were ready to support him,
made up his mind to do battle with the Frenchman.  As she approached, he
began blazing away, and in a short time wounded the captain, and mate,
and six men of the privateer, upon which she sheered off.  Thompson on
this made chase, and so skilfully did he manage his little craft, and
with so much determination keep up his fire, that after engaging the
privateer for two hours, she struck.  On his arrival at Poole with his
prize, he was warmly received, and the Lords of the Admiralty, hearing
of his gallantry, presented him with a gold chain and a medal of the
value of 50 pounds.

Another fishing-vessel, belonging to Whitesand, commanded by a Mr
Williams, falling in with some merchant-vessels which had been captured
by French privateers, attacked them with so much courage and skill, that
he retook the whole.  He received the same reward as had Mr Thompson.

Not long afterwards a coasting sloop, the _Sea Adventure_, commanded by
Peter Jolliffe, fell in, off Portland, with a French privateer, which
was in the act of taking possession of a small fishing-vessel belonging
to Weymouth.  The privateer endeavoured to escape, when Jolliffe made
sail in chase, and coming up, briskly opened his fire, when he compelled
her to release her prize.  Not content with this success, he continued
the fight, and at length drove her on shore in Lulworth Bay.  The
seafaring population of the village hurrying out, captured the
privateer, and made prisoners of her crew.

Just before the close of the war, Captain William Jumper, commanding the
_Weymouth_, engaged and sank the _Fougueux_, a French 48-gun ship, and
shortly afterwards he fell in with another French 50-gun ship, but in
the heat of the engagement, some powder on board the _Weymouth_ blew up
the poop, and disabled her for further immediate action.  Having
repaired damages, Captain Jumper again closed with the enemy, but
unhappily his bowsprit and three lower-masts fell overboard, when the
French ship made sail and escaped.  On the 19th of the following August
he fell in with a sail to leeward, between the island of Cloune and
Saint Martins.  He immediately ran down, hoisting the French ensign, and
yawing a little to show it.  Another French frigate at anchor under the
castle, weighed and stood off.  The first man-of-war, suspecting the
character of the stranger, made sail, but the _Weymouth_, outsailing
her, got close under her lee, keeping his French ensign flying to
prevent the enemy from firing at his masts till he was near enough.  He
then hoisted the English ensign and poured in a broadside, and commenced
bracing his main-topsail back; when, before he had fired off a second
round, the enemy, which proved to be _L'Amore_, of Rochefort, a king's
ship, struck her colours.  The other ship, seeing the fate of her
consort, escaped.  The prize was a vessel similar to an English galley.
She carried 20 guns on the upper-deck, and 9 on the lower-deck, but 4 on
the quarter-deck, and between decks she had small ports for oars.


QUEEN ANNE--FROM A.D. 1702 TO A.D. 1714.

Anne, daughter of James the Second, married the Prince George of
Denmark, and ascended the throne March the 8th, 1702.  Although the army
was held in more consideration during her reign than the navy, the
British seamen managed by their gallant deeds to make the service
respected at home and abroad.  It was not much to his advantage that the
queen appointed her consort, Prince George, to be Lord High Admiral.
The acts done in his name were not so narrowly scrutinised as they would
otherwise have been, and the commissioners of the Admiralty took good
care to shelter themselves under his wing.

Three of the most celebrated admirals in this reign were Sir George
Rooke, Sir Cloudesly Shovel, and Admiral Benbow.  Sir George, upon the
breaking out of war with France, was appointed to the chief command of
the fleet.  An expedition, which he at once sent against Cadiz, was
unsuccessful.  Not long afterwards, intelligence was carried to Sir
George that a French squadron and a fleet of Spanish galleons was at
Vigo.  Sir George immediately sailed with the English and Dutch fleets,
and appeared before that port.  The weather being hazy, the people in
the town did not discover them.  The passage into the harbour is not
more than three-quarters of a mile across.  Batteries had been thrown up
on either side, and garrisoned with a large body of troops, while a
strong boom, composed of ships-yards and topmasts fastened together with
three-inch rope, had been carried across it.  The top chain at each end
was moored to a 70-gun ship, while within the boom were moored five
ships, of between 60 and 70 guns each, with their broadsides fronting
the entrance to the passage, so that they could fire at any ship which
came near the boom, forts, or platform.  As it was impossible for the
whole fleet to enter, a detachment of fifteen English and ten Dutch
men-of-war, with all the fire-ships, followed by the frigates and
bomb-vessels, were ordered to enter and attempt the destruction of the
enemy's fleet, while the troops were to land and attack the forts in the
rear.  Vice-Admiral Hopson in the _Torbay_ led the van; but when he got
within shot of the batteries it fell calm, so that the ships were
compelled to come to an anchor.  A strong wind, however, soon afterwards
springing up, Admiral Hopson cutting his cables clapped on all sail,
and, amidst a hot fire from the enemy, bore up directly for the boom,
which he at once broke through, receiving broadsides from the two ships
at either end.  The rest of the squadron and the Dutch following, sailed
abreast towards the boom, but being becalmed they all stuck, and were
compelled to hack and cut their way through.  Again a breeze sprang up,
of which the Dutchman made such good use that, having hit the passage,
he went in and captured the _Bourbon_.  Meantime Admiral Hopson was in
extreme danger, for the French fire-ship having fallen on board him,
whereby his rigging was set on fire, he expected every moment to be
burnt; but it happened that the fire-ship was a merchantman, and laden
with snuff, and being fitted up in haste, the snuff in some measure
extinguished the fire.  The gallant Hopson, however, received
considerable damage, for, besides having his fore-topmast shot away, he
had 115 men killed and drowned, and 9 wounded, while his sails and his
rigging were burnt and scorched.  He was, therefore, compelled to leave
his ship, and hoist his flag on board the _Monmouth_.

At the same time, Captain Bokenham, in the _Association_, laid his
broadside against the town, while Captain Wyvill, in the _Barfleur_, a
ship of the like force, was sent to batter the fort on the other side.
The firing of the great and small shot of both sides was continued for
some time, till the French admiral, seeing the platform and fort in the
hands of the English and his fire-ship useless, while the confederate
fleet were entering, set fire to his own ship, ordering the rest of the
captains under his command to follow his example, which was done in so
much confusion, that several men-of-war and galleons were taken by the
English and Dutch.  The allies and French lost about an equal number of
men, but by this victory a vast amount of booty, both of plate and other
things, was captured.  The Spanish fleet was the richest that ever came
from the West Indies to Europe.  The silver and gold was computed at
20,000,000 of pieces of eight, of which 14,000,000 only had been taken
out of the galleons and secured by the enemy at Lagos, about twenty-five
leagues from Vigo, and the rest was either taken or sunk in the
galleons.  Besides this, there were goods to the value of 20,000 pieces
of eight, and a large quantity of plate and goods belonging to private
persons.  A few years ago only, a company was formed in England for the
purpose of dredging for the treasure sunk in the galleons, but the
scheme was abandoned on the discovery that much less amount of treasure
than here described was really lost, the confederates having captured
nearly all of that which had not been landed at Lagos.

By this blow the naval power of France was so deeply wounded, that she
never recovered it during the war.

Admiral Benbow had in the meantime been despatched to the West Indies,
in command of a small squadron, to prevent the Spanish islands from
falling into the power of France.  Hearing that Monsieur de Casse, the
French admiral, had sailed for Carthagena, he pursued him.  On the 19th
of August, in the afternoon, he discovered ten sail steering westward
along the shore under their topsails.  Upon this, he threw out a signal
for a line of battle.  The frigates being a long time coming up, and the
night advancing, Benbow steered alongside the French, having disposed
his line of battle in the following manner:--The _Defiance, Pendennis,
Windsor, Breda, Greenwich, Ruby_, and _Falmouth_.  Though he endeavoured
to near them, he intended not to make any attack until the _Defiance_
had got abreast of the headmost.  He, however, was compelled before long
to open his fire; but after two or three broadsides had been exchanged,
the _Defiance_ and _Windsor_ luffed up out of gunshot, leaving the two
sternmost ships of the enemy engaged with the admiral, while his own
ships in the rear did not come up as he had expected.  He afterwards
altered his line of battle.  The next morning at daybreak, he was near
the French ships, but none of his squadron, excepting the _Ruby_, were
with him, the rest lying some miles astern.  There was but little wind,
and though the admiral was within gunshot of the enemy, they did not
fire.  In the afternoon, a sea-breeze springing up, the enemy got into
line and made what sail they could, while the rest of the English ships
not coming up, the admiral and _Ruby_ plied them with chase-guns, and
kept them company all the next night.  On the 21st the admiral again
exchanged fire with the enemy's fleet, as did the _Ruby_, and he would
have followed had not the _Ruby_ been in such a condition that he could
not leave her.  The _Ruby_ was so disabled during this and the following
day, that the admiral ordered her to return to Port Royal.

The rest of the squadron now came up, and the enemy being but two miles
off, the gallant Benbow was at last in hopes of doing something, and
continued, therefore, to steer after them, but again, all his ships,
with the exception of the _Falmouth_, were astern, and at twelve the
enemy began to separate.  Early on the morning of the 24th he again came
within hail of the sternmost of the French ships.  At three, while hotly
engaged with them, the admiral's right leg was shattered to pieces by a
chain-shot, and he was carried below, but soon after, he ordered his
cradle on the quarter-deck, and the fight was continued till daylight,
when one of the enemy's ships, of 20 guns, was discovered to be very
much disabled.  A strong breeze now brought the enemy down upon him,
when three of his own ships getting to leeward of the disabled ship,
fired their broadsides and stood to the southward.  Then came the
_Defiance_, which, after exchanging fire with the disabled ship, put her
helm a-weather and ran away before the wind, without any regard to the
signal of battle.  The French seeing the two ships stand to the
southward, and finding that they did not attack, immediately bore down
upon the admiral, and running between their disabled ship and him,
poured in all their shot, by which they brought down his main-topsail
yard, and shattered his rigging very much.

Some time after this, his line of battle signal flying all the while,
Captain Kirby came on board and told him that he had better desist, that
the French were very strong, and that from what was past, he would guess
he would make nothing of it.  On this he sent for the rest of the
captains.  They obeyed him, but were most of them of Captain Kirby's
opinion.  This satisfied the admiral that they were not inclined to
fight; when, had they supported him, the whole French fleet might have
been captured.  On this he returned with his squadron to Jamaica.  As
soon as he arrived he ordered a court-martial on the captains who had
deserted him.  One, Captain Hudson, died a few days before his trial
came on.  Captains Kirby and Wade were condemned to death, and being
sent home, were shot immediately on their arrival at Plymouth, in 1703.

The gallant Benbow, in spite of the fearful wound he had received,
lingered till the 4th of November, when he yielded up his brave spirit,
feeling more the disgrace which his captains had brought upon the
English flag than his own sufferings.  All the time of his illness he
continued to issue his orders, and showed more anxiety for the interests
of the nation than for his private affairs.  He received a proof of what
would have been the result of the action had he been properly supported,
in a letter from the brave French Admiral Du Casse.  "Sir,--I had little
hopes on Monday last but to have supped in your cabin, but it pleased
God to order it otherwise.  I am thankful for it.  As for those cowardly
captains who deserted you, hang them up, for by God they deserve it.--
Yours, Du Casse."

The opinion of the nautical poets of the time is well shown in one of
those sea-songs which have done so much to keep up the spirits of
British tars.

  "The Death of Benbow."

  Come all ye sailors bold,
  Lend an ear, lend an ear,
  Come all ye sailors bold, lend an ear;
  'Tis of our Admiral's fame,
  Brave Benbow called by name,
  How he fought on the main,
  You shall hear, you shall hear.

  Brave Benbow he set sail,
  For to fight, for to fight;
  Brave Benbow he set sail
  With a free and pleasant gale,
  But his captains they turned tail.
  In a fright, in a fright.

  Says Kirby unto Wade,
  I will run, I will run;
  Says Kirby unto Wade, I will run;
  I value not disgrace,
  Nor the losing of my place,
  My en'mies I'll not face
  With a gun, with a gun.

  'Twas the _Ruby_ and _Noah's Ark_
  Fought the French, fought the French;
  'Twas the _Ruby_ and _Noah's Ark_ fought the French;
  And there was ten in all;
  Poor souls they fought them all,
  They valued them not at all,
  Nor their noise, nor their noise.

  It was our Admiral's lot,
  With a chain-shot, with a chain-shot;
  It was our Admiral's lot, with a chain-shot
  Our Admiral lost his legs;
  Fight on, my boys, he begs,
  'Tis my lot, 'tis my lot.

  While the surgeon dressed his wounds,
  Thus he said, thus he said;
  While the surgeon dressed his wounds, thus he said,
  Let my cradle now, in haste,
  On the quarter-deck be placed,
  That my enemies I may face,
  Till I'm dead, till I'm dead.

  And there bold Benbow lay,
  Crying out, crying out;
  And there bold Benbow lay, crying out,
  Let us tack about once more,
  We'll drive them to their own shore;
  I don't value half-a-score,
  Nor their noise, nor their noise.

In 1703 Rear-Admiral Dilkes did good service by pursuing a fleet of
forty-three French merchantmen, convoyed by three men-of-war, into a bay
between Avranches and Mount Saint Michael.  He first sent in his boats,
under cover of the ships, when fifteen sail were taken, six burnt, and
three sunk; and, on the following morning, the enemy having got into too
shoal water for the large ships to approach, he in person led the boats,
when two men-of-war were burnt, a third was taken, and seventeen more of
the merchant-vessels were burnt, so that only four escaped.  For this
signal service the queen ordered gold medals to be struck, and presented
to the admiral and all his officers.

Parliament this year voted 40,000 men, including 5000 marines, for the

On the night between the 26th and 27th of November, one of the most
fearful storms ever known in England began to blow.  It commenced
between eleven and twelve o'clock, from the west-south-west, with a
noise which resembled thunder, accompanied by bright flashes of
lightning, and continued with almost unrelenting fury till seven the
next morning.  During these few hours thirteen men-of-war were cast
away, and 1509 seamen were drowned.  Among the officers who lost their
lives were Rear-Admiral Beaumont, when his ship, the _Mary_, was driven
on the Goodwin Sands.  Of the whole ship's company, Captain Hobson, the
purser, and one man, Thomas Atkins, alone were saved.  The escape of
Atkins was remarkable.  When the ship went to pieces, he was tossed by a
wave into the _Stirling Castle_, which sank soon after, and he was then
thrown by another wave, which washed him from the wreck into one of her
boats.  Sir Cloudsley Shovel, who was lying in the Downs, saved his ship
by cutting away her main-mast, though she narrowly escaped running on
the _Galloper_.  The wives and families of the seamen who perished on
this occasion received the same bounty as would have been granted had
they been actually killed in fight in her majesty's service.  The House
of Commons also resolved to present an address to her majesty, stating,
that as they could not see any diminution of her majesty's navy without
making provision to repair the same, they besought her immediately to
give directions for repairing this loss, and for building such capital
ships as her majesty should think fit.

In 1704 Sir George Rooke, who commanded a large squadron in the
Mediterranean, on board of which was a body of troops under the Prince
of Hesse, resolved to attempt the capture of Gibraltar.  On the 17th of
July, while the fleet lay in Tetuan Roads, he called a council of war,
when, finding that his officers were ready to support him, he gave
orders that the fleet should at once proceed to the attack.  Entering
the Bay of Gibraltar, the ships took up a position to prevent all
communication between the rock and the continent, and the Prince of
Hesse landed on the isthmus with 1800 marines.  His highness having
taken post there, summoned the governor, who answered that he would
defend the place to the last.  At daybreak on the following morning, the
22nd, Sir George ordered the ships under the command of Rear-Admiral
Byng and Rear-Admiral Vanderduesen to commence the cannonade, but owing
to want of wind they were unable to reach their stations till nearly
nightfall.  In the meantime, to amuse the enemy, Captain Whitaker was
sent in with some boats, who burnt a French privateer of 12 guns at the
old mole.  On the 23rd, soon after daybreak, the ships having taken up
their stations, the admiral gave the signal for commencing the
cannonade, when, in five or six hours, 15,000 shot were thrown into the
fortress, compelling the enemy to retreat from their guns.  Sir George
now considering that could the fortifications be captured, the town
would yield, sent in Captain Whitaker with all the boats, to endeavour
to possess himself of it.  Captain Hicks and Captain Jumper, who lay
next the mole, were the first to reach the shore with their pinnaces,
and before the other boats could come up, the enemy sprang a mine, which
blew up the fortifications on the mole, killed 2 lieutenants and about
40 men, and wounded about 60 others.  The gallant captains, then
advancing, gained possession of the great platform, Captain Whitaker
capturing a redoubt half-way between the mole and the town, many of the
enemy's guns being also taken.  The next day the governor offered to
capitulate; when, hostages being exchanged, the Prince of Hesse marched
into the town, of which he took possession, the Spaniards composing the
garrison being allowed to march out with all the honours of war--though
the French were excluded from this part of the capitulation, and were
detained as prisoners of war.

The town was found to be extremely strong, with 100 guns mounted, all
facing the sea, and with two narrow passes to the land.  It was also
well supplied with ammunition, but the garrison consisted of less than
150 men.  However, it was the opinion that fifty men might have defended
the fortifications against thousands, and the attack made by the seamen
was brave almost beyond example.  Sixty only were killed, including
those blown up, and 216 wounded.  As this design was contrived by the
admiral, so it was executed entirely by the seamen, and to them was the
honour due.

Leaving a garrison under the Prince of Hesse, the fleet sailed to
Tetuan, in order to take in wood and water.  At the end of the year the
Spaniards attempted its recapture, but Sir John Leake arriving to its
relief, surprised and took three French frigates, a fire-ship, corvette,
and storeship laden with warlike stores, the very night before the
Spaniards had intended to storm it.  The following month 2000 troops
arrived to garrison the place, making it no longer necessary for the
ships to remain in the bay.

Notwithstanding the many important services rendered by Sir George
Rooke, his political opponents gaining the ascendant, so annoyed him
that he resolved to retire, to prevent public business from receiving
any disturbance on his account.  He passed the remainder of his days as
a private gentleman, for the most part at his seat in Kent.  He left but
a small fortune, so moderate that when he came to make his will, it
surprised those who were present.  The reason he assigned reflected more
honour on him than had he possessed unbounded wealth.  His words were:
"I do not leave much, but what I leave was honestly gotten--it never
cost a sailor a tear, or the nation a farthing."  He died on the 24th of
January, 1708-9, in the fifty-eighth year of his age, leaving one son,
George Rooke, by the daughter of Colonel Luttrell, of Dunster Castle,

On the resignation of Sir George Rooke, Sir Cloudsley Shovel was
appointed Vice-Admiral of England.

In 1704 a sum of 10,000 pounds was voted by Parliament for building a
wharf and storehouses in the dockyard at Portsmouth, and 40,000 men for
the sea-service, including 8000 marines, proving the value which was
attached to this arm.  Probably they were trained even then to assist in
working the ship, while to them was committed those duties exclusively
which have since been so ably performed by our gallant blue-jackets on

On the 1st of December, 1704, Greenwich Hospital was opened for the
reception of seamen, and a lieutenant-governor, captain, and two
lieutenants, a physician, and surgeon, were appointed by warrant.
Numerous other officers were afterwards appointed, as well as two

In 1705, the Eddystone Lighthouse, which had been blown down during the
great storm, was rebuilt by Act of Parliament, and the contribution from
the English shipping, which had before been voluntary, was fixed by its
authority.  The contest with France, Queen Anne's war, as it was called,
resulted in the general destruction of the French power at sea; and
after the battle of Malaga, we hear no more of their great fleets.  The
number of their privateers, however, was _very_ much increased, in
consequence of which Parliament was urged on by the mercantile interest
to put them down.  The loss also by the great storm, and the misfortunes
met with in the West Indies, indeed, every untoward accident, induced
the nation more eagerly to demand an augmentation of the navy.  Thus, at
the close of 1706, not only were the number but the quality of the
men-of-war greatly superior to what they had been in Charles's reign.
The economy and discipline of the navy was also much improved.  Great
encouragement was also given to seamen, by the utmost care being taken
in the treatment of the wounded, and exact and speedy payment of

A bounty was now given for hemp imported from the plantations, and every
encouragement was afforded to British merchants to enable them to carry
on their schemes with vigour.

The gallantry of Captain Mordaunt, son of the Earl of Peterborough, in
command of the _Resolution_, of 70 guns, in the Mediterranean, deserves
to be remembered.  He had sailed with his father from Barcelona on the
13th of March, 1706, with an envoy of the King of Spain to the Duke of
Savoy on board, and had in company the _Enterprise_ and _Milford_
frigates.  When within about fifteen leagues of Genoa, six French line
of battle ships were seen, who immediately gave chase to the English
squadron.  Lord Peterborough and the Spanish envoy on this went on board
the _Enterprise_, and, with the _Milford_, made their escape to Leghorn.
The enemy continued the chase of the _Resolution_, when one of their
ships came about ten o'clock at night within shot of her, but did not
begin to fire till the other ships had come up.  The _Resolution_ had
been much shattered a few days before in a heavy gale of wind, and was
at no time a fast sailer.  Notwithstanding the great disparity in force,
Captain Mordaunt made a brave resistance; but by the advice of his
officers he ran the ship ashore under the guns of a Genoese fort, from
which, however, he received no manner of protection; and shortly
afterwards he was wounded in the thigh, when he was carried on shore.
At five the French commodore sent in all the boats of his squadron, but
the enemy were repulsed and obliged to retire to their ships.  The next
morning a French 80-gun ship, brought up under the _Resolution's_ stern,
with a spring in her cable, and opened a heavy fire upon her.  Her
officers finding that there was no prospect of saving the ship, with the
consent of Captain Mordaunt, set her on fire, and in a short time she
was consumed, while they and the crew got safely on shore.

The last act of the gallant Sir Cloudsley Shovel was an attempt to
assist the Duke of Savoy and Prince Eugene, who were closely investing
Toulon.  A large number, however, of the French ships were destroyed
before the siege was raised.  On his return to England, on the 23rd of
October, 1707, a strong gale blowing from the south-south-west, his
ship, the _Association_, ran upon the rocks called the Bishop and his
Clerks off Scilly, and immediately going to pieces, every soul perished.
The _Eagle_ and _Romney_ shared the same fate; other ships struck, but
happily got off.  The body of the brave Sir Cloudsley was the next day
cast on shore, and was known by a valuable ring which he wore on his
finger.  Being brought to Plymouth, it was thence conveyed to London and
interred in Westminster Abbey, where a magnificent monument was erected
by Queen Anne to his memory.

We may judge of the progress of the navy by the sums voted by Parliament
for its support, which in this year amounted to 2,300,000 pounds.

In 1708, Commodore Wager, with a small squadron, attacked a fleet of
galleons on their way from Porto Bello to Carthagena.  The Spanish
admiral's ship, the _San Josef_, of 64 guns and 600 men, blew up with a
cargo on board of 7,000,000 pounds in gold and silver, only seventeen
men being saved.  The vice-admiral escaped, but the rear-admiral, of 44
guns, was captured.  She had, however, only thirteen chests of eight and
fourteen sows of silver.  The rest of the galleons were for the most
part loaded with cocoa.  Two of Commodore Wager's captains, who had
disobeyed his orders, were tried by a court-martial, and dismissed from
the command of their ships.

About the same time Captain Purvis, while chasing a French ship, got his
vessel on a ledge of rocks, where she was bilged.  He, and some of his
men, however, reached a small Key within shot of the French ship, which
mounted 14 guns and had on board 60 men.  She kept up a brisk fire upon
the Key until Captain Purvis with his own boats and a canoe had boarded
her, when her commander called for quarter and surrendered on condition
that he and his crew should be set on shore.  Captain Purvis got the
French ship off and returned in her to Jamaica.

Another gallant exploit was performed by Captain Colby, commanding a
privateer.  Being on a cruise on the Spanish main, he fell in with
fourteen sail of brigantines and sloops, laden with valuable goods taken
out of the galleons at Porto Bello.  They were bound to Panama, under
convoy of a guard sloop, which he bravely fought and took, with six of
her convoy.

An Act of Parliament was passed this year, by which the forfeited and
unclaimed shares of prize-money were to be paid into Greenwich Hospital.

The Prince George of Denmark dying, the Earl of Pembroke was appointed
Lord High Admiral of Great Britain in his stead.

England was, as before, determined to assert her supposed sovereignty of
the narrow seas, and to compel other nations to acknowledge her claims.
While cruising in the chops of the channel the _Winchester_, Captain
Hughes, chased a strange sail, on coming up with which he discovered her
to be a large Dutch privateer.  The commander, on being required to pay
the usual compliment to the British flag, not only refused, but
discharged a broadside into the _Winchester_.  An obstinate fight
ensued, in which the Dutch commander and forty of his men were killed.
The Dutch and English were at this time, it will be remembered, at
peace; but we hear of no complaint being made of the proceeding.

On the retirement of the Earl of Pembroke, the queen, in November, 1709,
issued a warrant for the executing of the office of Lord High Admiral by
commission.  The next year an Act was passed for the purchase of lands
in order to fortify and better secure the royal docks at Portsmouth,
Chatham, Harwich, Plymouth, and Milford Haven.

By another Act, any seaman in the merchant-service, who had been
disabled in defending or taking enemy's ships was deemed qualified to be
admitted into Greenwich Hospital.

A fleet, under Sir Hovenden Walker, whose flag-ship was the _Edgar_, was
sent out to attack Quebec, and to recover from the French Placentia, in
the island of Newfoundland.  Having arrived too late in the season he
was compelled to return.  While he and most of the officers were on
shore, on the 15th of October, the _Edgar_ blew up at Spithead, when
every soul perished.

There lay at that time in the Downs two privateers, the _Duke_, of 30
guns and 170 men, commanded by Captain Wood Rogers, and the _Duchess_,
of 26 guns and 150 men, commanded by Captain Stephen Courtnay, having
been fitted out by some Bristol merchants to cruise against the
Spaniards in the South Seas.  They had just returned from thence, having
captured a Spanish ship with two millions of pieces of eight on board.
On their voyage they had touched at the island of Juan Fernandez, which
they reached on the 31st of January, 1708-9.  Two of the officers with
six armed men had gone on shore, but not quickly returning, the pinnace
was sent well manned to bring them off.  Towards evening they both came
back bringing with them a man clothed in goat-skins, who appeared wilder
than the goats themselves.  He seemed very much rejoiced at getting on
board, but at first could not speak plainly, only dropping a few words
of English by times, and without much connection.  However, in two or
three days he began to talk, when he stated that, having been four years
and as many months upon the island without any human creature with whom
to converse, he had forgotten the use of his tongue.  He had been so
long inured to water and such insipid food as he could pick up, that it
was some time before he could reconcile himself to the ship's victuals,
or to the taking of a dram.  He stated that he was a native of Largo, in
Fifeshire, that his name was Alexander Selkirk, and that he had belonged
to a ship called the _Cinque Ports_, commanded by one Stradling, who,
upon some difference, set him on shore here, leaving him a firelock with
some powder and ball, a knife, a hatchet, a kettle, some mathematical
instruments, a Bible, and two or three other useful books, with a small
quantity of tobacco, a bed, bedding, etcetera.  At first his loneliness
weighed heavily on his spirits, but in time he became inured to it, and
got the better of his melancholy.  He had erected two huts, one of which
served him for a kitchen, the other for a dining-room and bed-chamber.
They were made of pimento wood, which supplied him also with fire and
candle, burning very clear, and yielding a most refreshing fragrant
smell.  The roof of his hut was of long grass, and it was lined with the
skins of goats, nearly five hundred of which he had killed during his
residence on the island, besides having caught above five hundred more,
which he marked on the ears, and then set at liberty.  When his
ammunition was exhausted he caught them by running, and so active was
he, that the swiftest goat upon the island was scarcely a match for him.
While the ships remained, Mr Selkirk often accompanied the men to hunt
the goats with the dogs, whom he always distanced, and frequently tired
out.  At first, for want of salt, he was unable to relish his food,
which consisted of goats' flesh and crawfish, but in time he took to
seasoning it with pimento fruit, which is not unlike the black pepper of
Jamaica.  At first the rats plagued him very much, growing so bold as to
gnaw his feet and clothes while he slept.  However, he managed to tame
some cats which had been left on shore, and these soon kept the rats at
a distance.  He also made pets of a few kids, and used to divert himself
by dancing among them, and teaching them a thousand tricks.  When his
clothes were worn out, he made a fresh suit of goat-skins joined
together with thongs which he had cut with his knife, and which he ran
through holes made with a nail instead of a needle.  He had a piece of
linen remaining, of which he made a shirt to wear next his skin.  In a
month's time he had no shoes left, and his feet having been so long bare
were now become quite callous, and it was some time after he had been on
board that he could wear a shoe.

Alexander Selkirk subsequently entered the Royal Navy and became a
lieutenant.  A monument to his memory was erected on the island of Juan
Fernandez by the captain and officers of a British ship of war which
touched there a few years ago.  On Selkirk's adventures Daniel Defoe
founded his immortal story of "Robinson Crusoe."

For some time before the end of Queen Anne's reign no general action
worthy of particular mention was fought, although in several engagements
between single ships or small squadrons the seamen of England maintained
the honour of the British flag.  At length, in 1713, the peace of
Utrecht put an end to the war.  During it the French had been deprived
of all pretensions to the dominion of the sea.  England had gained and
retained possession of Gibraltar, Minorca, Hudson's Bay, the whole of
Nova Scotia, the island of Saint Christopher, and also the chief part of
Newfoundland; her fleets had literally swept the Mediterranean of all
foes, scarcely a French ship daring to navigate its waters, and even the
Algerines and other piratical states of Barbary, instead of paying court
to the French, now yielded to us, and acknowledged the superiority of
the British flag.



Happily, England being at peace with France when George the First came
to the throne, and the Dutch being our firm allies, the history of that
period is barren of naval engagements.  We possessed, however, numerous
skilful commanders, and the navy was in as efficient a state as at any
previous period.  Sir George Byng, afterwards Viscount Torrington,
commanded the fleets of England during the greater part of this reign.
The principal officers who served under him were Sir John Leake, Sir
John Jennings, Sir James Wishart, Admiral Baker, the Marquis of
Carmarthen, Sir William Jumper, and Admiral Aylmer.

On the meeting of Parliament in 1715, 10,000 seamen, at 4 pounds a man
per month, were voted for the navy.  It also granted 35,574 pounds for
the half-pay of sea-officers; and the piratical States of Barbary again
becoming troublesome, Admiral Baker cruised against them, and destroyed
most of their vessels.

In 1716 Captain Delgarno, an active officer in command of the _Hind_, 20
guns, came up with one of their best men-of-war, mounting 24 guns; when,
after a most obstinate and bloody battle, he compelled her to strike,
and soon after she sank, all her crew, with the exception of
thirty-eight, perishing.

The West Indies being at this time overrun with a desperate set of
pirates, a proclamation was issued offering a pardon to all who would
surrender themselves within a twelvemonth.  After the expiration of that
time a reward was offered to any of his majesty's officers, by sea or
land, who should take a pirate, after he had been legally convicted: for
a captain, 100 pounds; for any other officer down to a gunner, 40
pounds; an inferior officer, 30 pounds.  Any private man delivering up a
captain or commodore was entitled to 200 pounds.

In 1718 the Spaniards sent a fleet and army to attack the possessions of
the King of Naples, on the island of Sicily.  This giving offence to the
English, Sir George Byng was appointed to the command in the
Mediterranean, with directions to protect the Neapolitans.  Soon after
Sir George arrived off Messina he discovered a Spanish fleet amounting
to twenty-seven sail, besides fire-ships, bomb-vessels, and galleys.  On
seeing the English, the Spaniards stood away, and the admiral chased
them, and finally, after a running fight, captured the Spanish admiral,
Chacon, with five ships of the line, one frigate of 44 guns, and one of
36.  Captain Walton in the _Canterbury_, with five more ships, had been
sent in pursuit of another part of the Spanish fleet.  On the 22nd
August Sir George received the following pithy despatch from him:--

"We have taken and destroyed all the Spanish ships and vessels which
were upon the coast, the number as per margin.--I am, yours, etcetera,
G. Walton."

In 1722, the navy being on a peace establishment, 7000 seamen alone were
voted at the usual rate of 4 pounds a man per month.

Notwithstanding the proclamation which had been issued for the
apprehension of pirates, those daring sea-robbers continued their
depredations, and became especially formidable on the coast of Africa,
as well as in the West Indies.  The most notorious of them was one
Roberts, an able seaman, of undaunted courage, and capable of command.
His force consisted of three stout ships; his own carried 40 guns and
152 men; another 32 guns and 132 men, and a third 24 guns and 90 men.
In April, 1722, Captain Ogle, commanding the _Swallow_, being on a
cruise off Cape Lopez, received intelligence that Roberts was lying with
his three ships in an adjoining bay.  Upon this, he disguised his ship
to look like a merchant-vessel, and stood in, when one of the pirates
slipped her cable and gave chase.  Captain Ogle decoyed him off the land
till he had reached such a distance as to prevent his associates hearing
the report of the guns.  He then shortened sailed, tacked, and brought
the pirate to action, which continued an hour and a-half, when, her
commander being killed, she struck.  Captain Ogle then steered in for
the bay, with the pirate's colours hoisted over the king's.  This
stratagem succeeded, for the pirates, seeing the black flag uppermost,
concluded that the king's ship had been taken, and stood out to sea to
meet and congratulate their consort on his victory.  Their joy was of
short duration, for no sooner did they come alongside the _Swallow_ than
Captain Ogle, throwing off the deception, opened his broadsides upon
them.  The action lasted two hours, when, Captain Roberts being killed,
with a large number of his men, both ships struck.  Captain Ogle carried
his prizes into Cape Coast Castle, where the prisoners, to the amount of
160, were brought to trial; 74 of them were capitally convicted, 52 of
whom were executed and hung in chains along the coast.

In 1725 the South Sea Company commenced a whale-fishery, in which they
employed twelve ships, and were sometimes very successful.

In 1726 an expedition was sent to the Spanish West Indies, under
Rear-Admiral Hosier, for the purpose of blocking up the galleons or
seizing them should they venture out.  On the first arrival of the
squadron its appearance struck terror along the whole coast, and several
Spanish ships were captured.  Conceiving that it was his duty to
blockade Porto Bello, the brave Hosier remained before it, suffering no
ships to go in or come out without strict examination; but, after
remaining for six months, fever made such havoc among his seamen, while
the ships were so eaten with worms, that he was compelled to return to
Jamaica.  In two months, however, he was again at sea, and standing over
to Carthagena, continued to cruise in those seas.  It is said that he
lost his crews twice over.  Thus the gallant Hosier, mourning for his
men, and suffering himself from the deadly effects of the climate, still
kept at his post in performance of his duty till, on the 23rd of August,
1727, he breathed his last.

In 1727 a fleet was despatched, under Sir John Norris, into the Baltic,
where he was joined by a Danish squadron, to keep a watch on the
proceedings of the Empress Catherine, but her death put a stop to the

The last naval expedition in this year was one for the purpose of
relieving Gibraltar.  Sir Charles Wager and Rear-Admiral Hopson on
arriving there soon compelled the Spaniards to raise the siege.

George the First ended his reign on the 11th of June, 1727.


Soon after the accession of George the Second in 1727, a peace was
concluded with Spain, which lasted twelve years.

Parliament voted a sum of 780,000 pounds to pay the wages of 15,000

On the 16th of April, by an order in council, twenty of the oldest
surgeons in the Royal Navy were to be allowed two shillings and sixpence
per day, half-pay, and the twenty next in seniority two shillings per

Notwithstanding the treaty with Spain, the Spaniards continued to annoy
the British trade, and to treat British subjects with the greatest
insolence and inhumanity.  As an instance, Robert Jenkins, master of the
_Rebecca_ brig, of Glasgow, was boarded by a Guarda Costa.  The
Spaniards treated the crew with the greatest barbarity, and cut off one
of the master's ears, which the captain of the Guarda Costa, giving to
Jenkins, insolently told him to carry that present home to the king his
master, whom, if he were present, he would serve in the same manner.
Some years afterwards, when Jenkins was examined at the bar of the House
of Commons, being asked what he thought when he found himself in the
hands of such barbarians, he replied with great coolness, "I recommended
my soul to God, and my cause to my country."

Four 20-gun ships and two sloops of war were sent out, therefore, to the
West Indies to cruise for the protection of British trade.

In 1731 an account of the reflecting or Hadley's quadrant appeared in a
paper given by a member of the Royal Society.  After Dr Hadley's death,
however, among his papers a description was found of an instrument not
much dissimilar to Hadley's, written by Sir Isaac Newton, who may,
therefore, be considered the first inventor of the reflecting quadrant.

In 1732 the king granted a commission to the Lords Commissioners of the
Admiralty to erect a corporation to relieve the poor widows of
sea-officers.  The terms of admission to the institution were that each
member, who must be an officer in the navy, was to allow threepence in
the pound per annum out of his pay.  Soon after the establishment of
this fund, Lieutenant George Crow generously resigned his half-pay for
the use of this charity, stating that he had a competency to live on.
The king gave 10,000 pounds for the support of the charity.

The Sallee rovers still continued very daring and troublesome to our
trade, and in 1734 a small squadron was sent out, under Captain James
Cornwall in the _Greyhound_, to block up the ports of Morocco, and
capture the vessels of the barbarians.  Two large corsairs were taken
and destroyed, and 140 British subjects released by the Emperor of
Morocco, who concluded a treaty with Great Britain.

That year his majesty issued his royal proclamation recalling all
British seamen from the service of foreign powers, and offering a bounty
of twenty shillings to every able-bodied seaman, and fifteen shillings
to every able-bodied landsman who should enter the navy.

In the following year 30,000 men were voted for the sea-service.

An Act of Parliament was passed this year appropriating the rents of the
estates of the Earl of Derwentwater and Charles Ratcliff to the
completion of the royal hospital at Greenwich.  By this Act all seamen
in the merchant-service who may happen to be maimed, not only in
fighting against pirates, but also in fighting against any enemy
whatever, should be admitted into, and provided for, in that hospital.

In 1739, Spain still obstinately refusing to make any compensation for
the injuries inflicted on English merchant-vessels by guarda costas,
Great Britain prepared for war.  Numerous ships were put in commission,
and letters of marque and reprisal were issued by the Admiralty against
Spain.  For some time previously the opponents of the English ministry
were continually taunting them with their want of courage.  Among
others, Admiral Vernon, who was then in Parliament, boasted that with
six ships he would undertake to capture the Spanish settlement of Porto
Bello.  The whole nation fully believing him, a squadron was at once
placed under his command, when, after remaining for a few days at Port
Royal, Jamaica, he sailed on the 5th of November, with six ships of war.
Light winds prevented him reaching Porto Bello till the 20th, when, on
the following day, Commodore Brown, who led in the _Hampton Court_, got
close to the _Iron Castle_, where, being becalmed by the high land to
windward, she was exposed for some time to a smart fire from the enemy,
without being able to return it.  As soon, however, as she could do so,
she began firing her broadside with such rapidity that she is said, in
twenty-five minutes, to have expended four hundred shot.  She was soon
supported by the _Burford_, _Norwich_, and _Warwick_; these ships opened
a tremendous fire, and did great execution, the small-arms from their
tops compelling the Spaniards to desert their guns.  As the boats with
seamen and marines passed the admiral, he ordered them to land
immediately under the walls, though there was no breach made, nor had
the scaling-ladders arrived.  As a substitute for them, however, one man
placed himself close to the wall under an embrasure, while another
climbed upon his shoulders.  Thus the sailors became masters of the
fort, and drew up the soldiers.  The Spaniards, panic-stricken, tied,
and the seamen, no longer obedient to the commands of their officers,
plundered the town, and committed great outrages on the inhabitants.
The governor soon after this hoisted the white flag and surrendered at
discretion.  Two ships of 20 guns each and other vessels were taken in
the harbour, as also ten thousand dollars intended for the payment of
the garrison, which the admiral ordered to be distributed among the
British forces for their encouragement.

The squadron's loss amounted to scarcely twenty men, while a large
number of great guns, powder, and shot were captured.  To prevent the
place from being longer an asylum for the enemy's guarda costas, Admiral
Vernon directed the whole of the fortifications to be dismantled and
blown up.  The news of this success caused unbounded satisfaction at

In 1740 two Acts were passed, one for the better supply of seamen to
serve in the Royal Navy, one allowing English merchant-vessels to be
navigated by foreign sailors, not exceeding three-fourths of the crew,
such foreign seamen serving for two years to be considered natural-born
subjects.  Another was to prevent impressment of seamen of the age of
fifty or upwards, and all such as have not attained the full age of
eighteen; also all foreigners serving in merchant-vessels,
sea-apprentices for the first three years, and persons of any age for
the first two years of their being at sea.  A new board was also
appointed to superintend the business of the Sick and Hurt Office.  The
charge of the prisoners of war was also intrusted to this board.

Anson, one of the most celebrated of British admirals, entered the navy
in 1712, as a volunteer on board the _Ruby_, Captain Chamberlain, with
whom he continued for several years, till, in 1718, he was appointed
second lieutenant of the _Montague_.  After commanding the _Weasel_
sloop, he was promoted to the rank of post-captain in 1724.  After
commanding numerous ships, and conducting himself with much ability and
discretion, he was selected to command that expedition to the South Seas
which made his name famous.  In 1740 he sailed from Spithead on the 18th
of September, with a squadron of five ships, the _Centurion_, of 60
guns; the _Gloucester_, of 50, Captain Norris; the _Sovereign_, of 50,
Captain Legge; the _Pearl_, of 40 guns, Captain Mitchell; the _Wager_,
28, Captain Kidd; the _Tryal_, 8 guns, Captain Murray; and two
victuallers, the _Anna_ and _Industry_ pinks.  On board the _Wager_
sailed the Honourable John Byron, then a midshipman.  The _Wager_ must
serve as an example for the rest of the ships.  She was an old Indiaman,
bought into the service, and now fitted out as a man-of-war, but also
deeply laden with stores and merchandise of all sorts.  Her crew
consisted of men pressed from long voyages, while her land forces were a
wretched detachment of infirm and decrepit invalids from Chelsea
Hospital, desponding under the prospect of a long voyage.  Her
commander, Captain Kidd, before his death, predicted that misfortunes
would overtake her.  The _Centurion_, however, under the judicious
management of Commodore Anson, performed a successful voyage, and had
the good fortune to capture a rich Spanish galleon.

In consequence of the way ships had suffered from the attacks of worms
on former occasions, those now destined for the West Indies were
sheathed by a new process.

On the 25th of February Admiral Vernon again sailed on an expedition
against Carthagena, but finding his force inadequate to reduce it, after
refitting at Porto Bello, he proceeded to the river Chagres, an accurate
chart of which he had obtained from the pirate Lowther, who, by doing
this piece of service, had his majesty's pardon granted him.  The castle
of San Lorenzo was quickly captured, and a large amount of merchandise
and plate found in the place.  After blowing up the fortifications, and
destroying two guarda costas, he returned to Jamaica.  He next, being
joined by Sir Challoner Ogle with a large body of troops, attacked
Carthagena; forcing a beam which had been laid across the harbour, the
fleet entered and blew up a considerable number of forts, great
gallantry being shown by the commanders of the ships of war and their
crews.  The British troops, however, were repulsed with great slaughter
in their attempts to storm Fort Saint Lazare.  In consequence of
sickness, it became at length necessary to raise the siege, and the
admiral returned to Jamaica.  The establishment of a settlement on the
island of Rattan and an attack on Cuba were designed by Admiral Vernon,
but this and other plans were thwarted by the commander of the land
forces, General Wentworth--showing the inconvenience which, in nearly
all instances, arises from a division of command.  Probably, had the
whole power been vested with Admiral Vernon, his plans would have
succeeded.  Soon after his arrival in England, in consequence of a
disagreement with the Admiralty, he was deprived of his command in 1746,
after which he did not again go to sea.  Probably in consequence of
observing the ill effects of undiluted spirits among his crews in the
West Indies, he was the first to order a sailor's allowance of rum to be
mixed with water, to which the name of grog has since been given.

During this war the English merchants lost a number of their vessels in
the British Channel and the German Ocean, the prizes being carried into
Vigo, Bilboa, and San Sebastian, where the poor sailors suffered
inexpressible hardships, being driven barefooted a hundred or two
hundred miles up the country, lodged in damp dungeons, and fed only on
bread and water.  On hearing of this treatment, the British Government
allowed to every prisoner sixpence a-day, which was regularly paid to
them.  On the other hand, the English ships of war and privateers took
several valuable prizes from the Spaniards, and destroyed many of their
privateers; while the masters of the merchant-ships bravely defended
themselves, and were never taken but by a superior force.  One of these
actions is worthy of being recorded.  On the 27th of December, the
_Pulteney_ privateer, a large brigantine, mounting 16 carriage-guns and
26 swivels, with 42 men, commanded by Captain James Purcell, was
standing into the Bay of Gibraltar after a cruise, when she was seen
from Old Gibraltar, from whence 2 large Spanish xebeques, each carrying
120 men, 12 carriage-guns, and a great number of patereroes and
musquetoons, were sent out to take her.  They soon came up with her, a
little to the eastward of Europa Point, and almost within reach of the
guns of Gibraltar.  In the bay lay an 80-gun ship, but without her
topmasts, so that the only way of assisting the privateer was to send a
reinforcement of men, which might easily have reached her before the
xebeques, but the commander of the ship of war, alleging that so small a
vessel could not escape, declined to do so.  The gallant Captain
Purcell, however, was of a different opinion, and resolved to defend his
vessel to the last, being supported by his officers and men.  After the
Spaniards had fired a few single guns, they came near and hailed the
vessel by her name, the captain entreating the English to strike and
preserve their lives.  These threats were returned by the _Pulteney's_
guns.  The Spaniards then attempted to board, but were resolutely beaten
off.  They twice more renewed the attempt; Captain Purcell having
prudently reserved half his broadside, they had not the courage to board
him.  For an hour and three-quarters the engagement continued, till the
Spaniards, unable to stand the pounding they were receiving, made off
with their oars towards Malaga, having lost above a hundred of their
men--the _Pulteney_ having had but one man killed and five more badly
wounded, though it is remarkable that every man on board was shot
through the clothes, the sails and rigging were cut to pieces, and some
9-pounders went through the hull and masts of the privateer.  The
governor, officers, and principal inhabitants of Gibraltar, who were
witnesses of the action, to show Captain Purcell the high estimation in
which they held his character, presented him with a piece of plate with
a suitable inscription, and gave a handsome reward to the sailors for
their bravery.

In 1742 the _Tiger_, of 50 guns, Captain Herbert, was lost on a cayo
near the island of Tortuga, when the crew got on shore and saved most of
their stores.  They then mounted twenty of the ship's guns for their
protection, thus saving themselves from being made prisoners by the
Spaniards, who had sent a ship, _El Fuerte_, of 60 guns, for that
purpose.  In the attempt, however, she also got on shore and was lost.
On this cayo Captain Herbert remained nearly two months.  At length, a
sloop and schooner appeared off the spot; Captain Herbert, pulling off
in his boats, boarded and took them, and returned in them with his
ship's company safe to Jamaica.

In 1744, the French fleet having united with that of Spain, war was
declared against France.  Admiral Matthews was at this time
commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean.  In an action which ensued soon
afterwards, Admiral Matthews accused his second in command, Admiral
Lestock, of not doing his duty, and sent him to England, but was himself
recalled to undergo a court-martial, the issue of which was that he was
dismissed and rendered for ever incapable of serving his majesty.
Several other officers were also tried on various charges, some of whom
were cashiered.  The sentence of several of them was considered
extremely hard, and many circumstances appearing in their favour, his
majesty was pleased to restore them to their former rank.
Courts-martial, indeed, appear to have taken place very frequently.
Discipline was often lax, and that high tone which afterwards prevailed
in the navy was apparently greatly wanting.

An action, which, had the English been successful, would have saved the
lives and fortunes of many of the leading Jacobites, took place in 1745.
On the 9th July of that year the _Lion_, a 60-gun ship of 400 men,
commanded by Captain Piercy Brett, being on a cruise, fell in with the
_Elizabeth_, a French ship of war, of 64 guns and 600 men, and a small
frigate, the latter having on board Prince Charles, son of the old
Pretender, and several officers of distinction who were accompanying him
in order to support his cause in Scotland.  At five o'clock in the
evening the _Lion_ got within pistol-shot of the _Elizabeth_, when a
most obstinate battle began, and continued with great fury till ten, at
which time the _Lion_ had lost her mizen-mast, all her other masts and
yards being so much wounded, and rigging and sails cut to pieces, that
she became unmanageable.  The _Elizabeth_ not being so much crippled in
her rigging, her commander availed himself of the opportunity, to set
what sail he could, and got off.  The _Lion_ had 45 men killed and 107
wounded.  Among the latter were Captain Brett, with all his lieutenants
and the master.  The _Elizabeth_ had her captain and 64 men killed, and
144 wounded.  She was so much damaged that it was with difficulty she
reached Brest.  The frigate pursuing her course landed Prince Charles at
Lochaber on the 27th day of July.

In order to prevent succours being sent to the rebels from France,
Admiral Vernon proceeded with a strong squadron to the Downs, and
Rear-Admiral Byng was sent with some ships to the coast of Scotland.

English ship-owners and merchants had sent many large privateers of
considerable force to sea, and they were especially fortunate this year.
The _Prince Frederick_, of 28 guns and 250 men, commanded by Captain
James Talbot, fell in off the western islands with two large French
ships with valuable cargoes, which had just returned from the South
Seas.  After an obstinate engagement they captured the _Marquis
D'Autin_, of 400 tons, 24 guns, and 68 men; and the _Lewis Erasmus_, of
500 tons, 28 guns, and 66 men.  The privateers and their prizes having
been convoyed to Bristol by three men-of-war, the treasure and plate
taken out of them were put into forty-five waggons and carried to
London, when, upon a division of the prize-money, each sailor's share
amounted to 850 pounds.  The captains and crews of the privateers
behaved with great generosity to their prisoners, allowing them to keep
their valuable effects, and when the common men were landed, they
distributed to each twenty guineas.  The proprietors, whose share
amounted to 700,000 pounds, made a voluntary tender of it to the
Government to assist in putting down the Jacobite rebellion.

Another privateer took a Spanish ship worth 400,000 pounds; and another,
one of 50,000 pounds; but a fourth, the _Surprise_, commanded by Captain
Redmond, was less fortunate, for having taken a French East India ship,
after an action of six hours, with a cargo valued at 150,000 pounds, the
prize, from the number of shot in her hull, sank the next day with all
her wealth on board.

There are many instances of captains of privateers being at once given
commands in the Royal Navy.  Captain Rous in the _Shirley_ galley, and
ten more stout privateers, having escorted a body of troops from Boston
to assist in the reduction of Louisbourg, as a reward, his majesty
directed that the privateer, which carried 24 guns, should be purchased
into the navy as a post-ship, and Captain Rous appointed to command her.

Fortunes were very frequently rapidly made, not only by commanders of
privateers, but by captains of men-of-war.  Among these fortunate men
was Captain Frankland, afterwards Admiral Thomas Frankland.  When in
command of the _Rose_, of 20 guns and 125 men, being on a cruise off the
coast of South Carolina, he fell in with _La Concepcion_, of 20 guns and
326 men, from Carthagena bound to Havannah; and after a severe and
obstinate battle captured her, she having 116 killed and 40 wounded,
while he had only 5 men killed and 13 wounded.  Her cargo consisted of
800 serons of cocoa, 68 chests of silver, gold and silver coin to a
large amount, plate, a curious two-wheeled chase, the wheels, axles,
etcetera, all of silver, diamonds, pearls, precious stones, and gold.
So great was the quantity of money that the shares were delivered by
weight, to save the trouble of counting it; and when the cargo was taken
out of the ship, and she was put up for sale, the French captain, upon
the promise of reward from Captain Frankland, discovered to him 30,000
pistoles which were concealed in a place that no one would ever have
thought of looking for them.  Captain Frankland presented the French
captain with a thousand pistoles, with which he was far from contented.

The captain also made another fortunate discovery by means of a young
French boy whom he had taken into his service.  The boy complained to
him that one of the sailors had taken from him a stick which was in
appearance of no value.  Captain Frankland recovered it for the boy, and
on returning it gave him a tap on the shoulder, when, hearing something
rattle, he took off the head, and found jewels (according to the
Frenchman's account) worth 20,000 pistoles.  When the captain
surrendered, he had given this stick to the boy in the hopes of saving
it, not imagining such a trifle would be ever noticed.

That year 531 prizes were taken from the Spaniards and French, but the
English lost very nearly as many, though their vessels were smaller and
of much less value.

Mr William Brown, master of the _Shoreham_, having been placed by
Captain Osborne in command of a small privateer of 2 guns and 12
swivels, captured a Spanish privateer of 10 guns and 18 swivels; and
shortly afterwards another of 5 guns and 32 men; and was for his
gallantry promoted by the Lords of the Admiralty to the command of a
sloop of war.

Among the gallant deeds performed at this time, an action fought by the
_Fame_, a privateer belonging to Liverpool, and commanded by Captain
Fortunatus Wright, deserves to be recorded.  While on a cruise in the
Levant, she encountered sixteen French ships, one of them mounting 20
guns, with 150 men, fitted out expressly for the purpose of taking her.
They engaged her furiously for three hours off the island of Cyprus,
when the large ship was run ashore and her crew fled up the country.
The _Fame's_ crew then boarded and brought her off.

By an Act of Parliament passed this year, every ship in Great Britain or
his majesty's plantations in North America was compelled on first going
to sea to be furnished with a complete suit of sails, made of sail-cloth
manufactured in Great Britain, under a penalty of fifty pounds.  It was
also enacted that every sail-maker in Britain or the plantations shall
on every new sail affix in letters and words at length his name and
place of abode, under a penalty of ten pounds.

By an order in council dated the 10th of February, 1747, established
rank was first given to the officers in the Royal Navy, and a uniform
clothing appointed to be worn by admirals, captains, lieutenants, and
midshipmen.  Hitherto they had dressed much as suited their fancy.  The
crew of a man-of-war must have looked more like a band of pirates than a
well-ordered ship's company of the present day.  Even in later days
midshipmen sometimes appeared on the deck of a man-of-war in rather
extraordinary costume, as the following account, taken from the journal
of an old admiral, will show.

"As we midshipmen met on board the cutter which was to carry us to
Plymouth, we were not, I will allow, altogether satisfied with our
personal appearance, and still less so when we stepped on the
quarter-deck of the seventy-four, commanded by one of the proudest and
most punctilious men in the service, surrounded by a body of
well-dressed, dashing-looking officers.  Tom Peard first advanced as
chief and oldest of our gang, with a bob-wig on his head, surmounted by
a high hat bound by narrow gold lace, white lapels to his coat, a white
waistcoat, and light blue inexpressibles with midshipman's buttons.  By
his side hung a large brass-mounted hanger, while his legs were encased
in a huge pair of waterproof boots.  I followed next, habited in a coat
`all sides radius,' as old Allen, my schoolmaster, would have said, the
skirt actually sweeping the deck, and so wide that it would button down
to the very bottom--my white cuffs reaching half-way up the arm to the
elbow.  My waistcoat, which was of the same snowy hue, reached to my
knees, but was fortunately concealed from sight by the ample folds of my
coat, as were also my small clothes.  I had on white-thread stockings,
high shoes and buckles, and a plain cocked hat, a prodigiously long
silver-handled sword completing my costume.  Dick Martingall's and Tom
Painter's dresses were not much less out of order, giving them more the
appearance of gentlemen of the highway than of naval officers of
respectability.  One had a large brass sword, once belonging to his
great-grandfather, a trooper in the army of the Prince of Orange, the
other a green-handled hanger, which had done service with Sir Cloudsley
Shovel."  The writer and his friends had to beat a precipitate retreat
from the _Torbay_, as, with a stamp of his foot, their future captain
ordered them to begone, and instantly get cut-down and reduced into
ordinary proportions by the Plymouth tailors.  This description refers
to some thirty years later than the time we are speaking of.  The tailor
had taken his models, the writer observes, from the days of Benbow; or
rather, perhaps, from the costumes of those groups who go about at
Christmas time enacting plays in the halls of the gentry and nobility,
and are called by the west-country folks "geese-dancers."

Vice-Admiral Anson, who had returned from his voyage to the Pacific, was
now placed in command of a powerful fleet, and sent to cruise on the
coast of France.  He and Rear-Admiral Warren sailed from Plymouth on the
9th of April to intercept the French fleet, with which it fell in on the
3rd of May off Cape Finisterre, convoying a large number of merchantmen.
Admiral Anson had made the signal to form line of battle, when
Rear-Admiral Warren, suspecting the enemy to be merely manoeuvring to
favour the escape of the convoy, bore down and communicated his opinion
to the admiral, who thereon threw out a signal for a general chase.  The
_Centurion_, under a press of sail, was the first to come up with the
rearmost French ship, which she attacked in so gallant a manner that two
others dropped astern to her support.  Three more English ships coming
up, the action became general.  The French, though much inferior in
numbers, fought with great spirit till seven in the evening, when all
their ships were taken, as well as nine sail of East India ships.  The
enemy lost 700 men, killed and wounded, and the British 250.  Among the
latter was Captain Grenville of the _Defiance_, to whom a monument was
erected by his uncle, Lord Cobham, in his gardens at Stowe.  Upwards of
300,000 pounds were found on board the ships of war, which were conveyed
in twenty waggons by a military escort to London.

So pleased was the king with this action that, after complimenting
Admiral Anson, he was created a peer of Great Britain, and Rear-Admiral
Warren was honoured with the order of the Bath.

A sad accident occurred shortly afterwards in an action off the Azores,
when the _Dartmouth_, Captain Hamilton, of 50 guns, while engaging for
some hours the _Glorioso_, a Spanish ship of 74 guns and 750 men, caught
fire and blew up, every soul with her brave commander perishing, except
Lieutenant O'Bryan and eleven seamen, who were saved by the boats of a
privateer in company.  The _Dartmouth's_ consort, the _Russell_,
pursuing the Spaniard, captured her after a warm engagement.

As an encouragement and relief to disabled and wounded seamen in the
merchant-service, an Act of Parliament was passed in this year
authorising the masters of merchant-vessels to detain sixpence per month
from the wages of seamen.  It was extended also to the widows and
children of such seamen as should be killed or drowned.  A corporation
was established for the management of this fund.

Admiral Hawke in command of another squadron, was equally successful,
having captured in one action no less than six large French ships.

The war terminated at the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.  The total
number of ships taken from the French and Spaniards amounted in all to
3434, while the entire loss of English merchant-vessels amounted to

In 1744 Admiral Sir John Balchen, whose flag was flying on board the
_Victory_, was returning from Gibraltar, when, having reached the
channel on the 3rd of October, the fleet was overtaken by a violent
storm.  The _Exeter_, one of the squadron, lost her main and mizen-mast,
and it became necessary to throw twelve of her guns overboard to prevent
her from sinking, while other ships suffered much.  On the 4th the
_Victory_ separated from the fleet, and was never more heard of.  She
had on board nearly a thousand men, besides fifty volunteers, sons of
the first nobility and gentry in the kingdom.  It is supposed that she
struck upon a ridge of rocks off the Caskets, as from the testimony of
the men who attended the light, and the inhabitants of the island of
Alderney, minute-guns were heard on the nights of the 4th and 5th, but
the weather was too tempestuous to allow boats to go out to her
assistance.  The king settled a pension of 500 pounds per annum on Sir
John Balchen's widow.

As an example of the danger those on board fire-ships ran, a fearful
accident which happened to one of them must be mentioned.  While the
fleet of Admiral Matthews was engaged with the Spaniards in the
Mediterranean, he ordered the _Anne_ galley fire-ship, commanded by
Captain Mackay, to go down and burn the _Real_.  In obedience to his
orders, that brave officer approached the Spanish admiral.
Notwithstanding the heavy fire opened on his vessel, he ordered all his
people off the deck, and boldly steered the fire-ship, with a match in
his hand.  As he approached, he found that the enemy's shot had such an
effect that his ship was fast sinking; at the same time, observing a
large Spanish launch rowing towards him, he opened fire on her with his
guns, when, on a sudden, the fire-ship appeared in a blaze, and almost
immediately blew up, but at a distance too great either to grapple or
damage the _Real_.  The gallant commander, with his lieutenant, gunner,
mate, and two quartermasters, perished.

The Admiralty at this time appear to have considered that the best way
of inducing naval officers to perform their duty was to shoot or
otherwise severely punish them if they did not.  On the 22nd of April,
1745, the _Anglesea_, of 40 guns and 250 men, commanded by Captain Jacob
Elton, fell in with a French privateer of 50 guns and 500 men.  After a
severe action, in which the commander and his first lieutenant were
killed, the ship being much disabled, and above sixty of her crew killed
or wounded, Mr Barker Phillips, her second lieutenant, who succeeded to
the command, surrendered her to the enemy.  On his return to England, he
was tried by a court-martial, and sentenced to be shot, which sentence
was carried into execution on board the _Princess Royal_ at Spithead.

The war again broke out in 1755, when information being received that
the French were preparing a fleet of men-of-war to sail from different
ports, the ministry immediately equipped a squadron, the command of
which was given to Admiral Boscawen, who was ordered to proceed to North
America.  The first ships taken during the war were by the _Dunkirk_,
Captain Howe, who after an engagement of five hours captured the
_Alcide_ and _Lys_, part of the squadron of M. de la Motte.

A fleet of ten ships, under the command of Admiral Byng, was sent out to
the Mediterranean.  With his squadron but imperfectly manned, he sailed
from Spithead on the 7th of April.  When off Minorca, then held by the
English, and besieged by the Spaniards, a French fleet appeared in
sight.  The next day, the weather being hazy, the French fleet was not
seen till noon, when Admiral Byng threw out an order to Rear-Admiral
West to engage them, but he being at a distance did not understand these
orders.  He, however, with his whole division bearing away seven points,
came up with the enemy, and attacked them with such impetuosity that
several of their ships were soon obliged to quit the line.  Byng's
division not advancing, Admiral West was prevented from pursuing his
advantage for fear of being separated from the rest of the fleet, which,
from unskilful manoeuvring, gave the enemy time to escape.  On his
arrival at Gibraltar the unfortunate Admiral Byng found that
commissioners had arrived to arrest him and Admiral West, who were
accordingly sent prisoners to England.  Sir Edward Hawke, who had
brought out reinforcements, immediately sailed up the Mediterranean, but
on arriving off Minorca, to his mortification, saw the French flag
flying from the Castle of San Felipe.  The French fleet took shelter in
Toulon, while Sir Edward Hawke had the command of the Mediterranean.
The fall of Minorca caused the greatest dissatisfaction in England, and
though undoubtedly the ministry were to blame for not having sent more
troops to Minorca, and given Byng a larger fleet, he committed an error
in not taking greater pains to engage the French fleet.  A court-martial
pronounced him guilty of a breach of the twelfth article of war, and
condemned him to death.  He was accordingly, on the 14th of March, shot
on board the _Monarch_, in Portsmouth harbour--a sacrifice to popular
clamour.  The court which condemned him, however, declared that his
misconduct did not proceed from want of courage or disaffection, and
added to their report of their proceedings a petition to the Lords of
the Admiralty requesting their lordships most earnestly to recommend him
to his majesty's clemency.  The Government, however, having resolved on
his death, allowed the law to take its course.  The president of the
court-martial was Vice-Admiral Thomas Smith, generally known in the
service by the name of Tom of Ten Thousand.  When he was lieutenant on
board the _Gosport_ in Plymouth Sound, and her captain on shore, Mr
Smith directed a shot to be fired at a French frigate which, on passing,
had neglected to pay the usual compliment to the flag.  The Frenchman
considering this as an insult offered to his flag, lodged a complaint
against Mr Smith, who was tried by a court-martial and dismissed the
service.  His spirited conduct was, however, so much approved of by the
nation, that he was promoted at once to the rank of post-captain.

In 1749 an Act of Parliament was passed authorising the Admiralty to
grant commissions to flag-officers or any other officer commanding his
majesty's fleet or squadron of ships of war, to call and assemble
courts-martial in foreign parts.

The sudden possession of wealth by the capture of prizes had undoubtedly
a deteriorating effect on the minds of many officers of the navy.  We
may understand the disappointment which was felt by those serving under
Admiral Knowles, who was cruising off the Havannah to intercept the
expected Plate fleet, when a Spanish advice-boat brought into the
squadron informed the admiral that the preliminary articles for a
general peace were signed.  The unpleasant news caused a general
dejection throughout the whole squadron.  Dissensions among the officers
had for some time before prevailed, and these at length terminated in
various courts-martial.  It was probably this lust of wealth which
induced the officers of the _Chesterfield_, of 40 guns, commanded by
Captain O'Brien Dudley, when off Cape Coast Castle, to mutiny.  Samuel
Couchman, the first lieutenant, John Morgan, the lieutenant of marines,
Thomas Knight, the carpenter, were the ringleaders.  They managed to
seize the ship and carry her to sea while the captain and some others
were on shore.  By the spirited conduct of Mr Gastrien, the boatswain,
and Messrs Gillan and Fraser, she was retaken from the mutineers thirty
hours afterwards, and ultimately brought safe to Portsmouth, where the
mutineers being tried, two of the principal officers were shot on board
their ship.  The four others and one seaman were hanged.

The animosity which had existed among the captains of the West India
squadron was carried to serious lengths, and resulted in several duels,
one of which was fought between Captains Clarke and Innes, in Hyde Park,
when the latter was killed.  Captain Clarke was tried, and received
sentence of death, but his majesty granted him a free pardon.  Another
duel was fought between Admiral Knowles and Captain Holmes.  After they
had discharged two or three shots at each other, the seconds interfered,
and they were reconciled.  The king being informed that four more
challenges had been sent to the admiral, ordered three of the officers
to be taken into custody, which put an end to all further dissensions.

In 1753 an Act was passed to render more effectual the Act of the 12th
of Queen Anne, for providing a public reward for such person or persons
as should discover the longitude at sea.

In 1756 the Marine Society was instituted, owing to the patriotic zeal
of the merchants of London, who entered into a liberal subscription to
clothe and educate orphans or deserted and friendless boys to serve in
the Royal Navy.  It has proved of great advantage to the navy.  In June,
1772, it was incorporated, and is governed by a president and six

Among the most desperate engagements fought at this period the exploit
of the _Terrible_ privateer, commanded by Captain Death, deserves to be
recorded.  She carried 26 guns and 200 men.  When on a cruise, she fell
in with the _Grand Alexander_, from Saint Domingo, of 22 guns and 100
men, when, after an action of two hours, she captured her.  Both vessels
were considerably damaged; the _Terrible_ had a lieutenant and sixteen
men killed.  While conducting her prize to England, and ill-prepared for
a second engagement, she fell in with the _Vengeance_ privateer,
belonging to Saint Malo, of 36 guns and 360 men.  The enemy having
retaken the prize, manned her, and together bore down on the _Terrible_.
Captain Death defended his ship with the greatest bravery against so
unequal a force, but at length, he and half his crew being killed and
most of the survivors badly wounded, the masts being shot away, she was
compelled to strike.  The enemy's ship was also a complete wreck; her
first and second captains were killed, with two-thirds of her crew.  The
merchants of London, as a testimony of their high sense of the gallant
behaviour of Captain Death and his brave crew, opened a subscription at
Lloyd's coffee-house for the benefit of his widow; for the widows of the
brave fellows who lost their lives with him, and for that part of the
crew who survived the engagement.

Captain Fortunatus Wright, who had before been so successful in the
Mediterranean, was now in command of the _Saint George_ privateer
cruising in the same sea.  He had first a desperate battle with a French
privateer twice his size, which he beat off, and then proceeded to
Leghorn, where he was thrown into prison by the Austrian government.
Admiral Hawke, on hearing of it, sent two ships to demand his immediate
release.  This request was complied with.  Shortly afterwards the _Saint
George_ was overtaken by a furious storm, in which she foundered, her
brave commander and crew perishing.

At this time, while Lord Clive was, by a series of victories, laying the
foundation of the British Empire in the east, Admiral Watson commanded
in the Indian seas.  To assist the army the squadron entered the
Hooghly, when a body of seamen was landed to attack the fort of Boujee.
By a singular event it was carried without bloodshed.  A seaman by the
name of Strachan, belonging to the _Kent_, having drunk too much grog,
strayed under the walls of the fort in the dead of night, and observing
a breach, entered at it, giving loud huzzas.  This alarmed some more of
his comrades, who had also strayed the same way.  They instantly mounted
the breach, and drove the Indian garrison from the works.  By this time
the whole camp and squadron were alarmed, and the troops, flying to the
fort, entered and gained possession of it without the loss of a man.
After everything was quiet, Admiral Watson sent for Strachan to admonish
him for his temerity, and addressing him, observed, "Strachan, what is
this you have been doing?"  The untutored hero, after having made his
bow, scratching his head with one hand and twirling his hat with the
other, replied, "Why, to be sure, sir, it was I who took the fort, but I
hope there was no harm in it."  The admiral then pointed out to him the
dreadful consequences that might have resulted from so rash an act, and
insinuated as he left the cabin that he should be punished.  Strachan,
highly disappointed at this rebuke from the admiral when he thought
himself entitled to applause, muttered as he was leaving the cabin, "If
I'm flogged for this here action, I'll never take another fort as long
as I live."

A gallant action fought in the West Indies, in the year 1757, is worthy
of note.  Admiral Cotes, commander-in-chief on the station, despatched
Captain Arthur Forrest, of the 60-gun ship _Augusta_, with the
_Edinburgh_, Captain Langdon, of 60 guns, and the _Dreadnought_, Captain
Maurice Suckling, of 60 guns, to cruise off Cape Francois, where the
French were assembling a fleet of merchant-vessels for Europe.  The
French squadron consisted of two seventy-fours, one sixty-four, one
fifty, one forty-four, and two of thirty-two guns.  On the 21st of
October, early in the morning, the _Dreadnought_ made the signal for the
enemy.  On this, Captain Forrest summoned his captains, and on their
arrival on the _Augusta's_ quarter-deck, he observed, "Well, gentlemen,
you see they are come out to engage us."  On this, Captain Suckling
replied, "I think it would be a pity to disappoint them."  Captain
Langdon being of the same opinion, the signal was thrown out to make all
sail to close the enemy.  So admirably were the three ships manoeuvred,
and so well were their guns fought, that one of the enemy's ships was
dismasted and the whole fleet much disabled, with the loss of nearly 600
men killed and wounded, when they made sail to leeward.  The British
ships were so much cut up in their sails and rigging that it was
impossible to follow.  The _Dreadnought_ had lost 9 killed, 20
dangerously and 10 slightly wounded, while every yard and mast was
greatly injured.  Shortly afterwards, Captain Forrest captured a French
convoy consisting of 9 ships, carrying 112 guns and 415 men.

Among the many dashing officers of those days was Captain Gilchrist.
When in command of the _Southampton_, of 32 guns and 220 men, he was on
his way from Portsmouth to Plymouth, with money to pay the dockyard
artificers.  Being attacked at eleven at night, off Saint Alban's Head,
by five French privateers, two of them of equal force, he compelled
them, after an action of two hours, to sheer off; his vessel being a
perfect wreck, with several shot between wind and water, and ten men
killed, and fourteen mortally wounded.  The following September, when
looking into Brest, a French ship came out, for which he waited.  He
reserved his fire till he got within twenty yards of her, when a most
furious engagement began; the ships falling on board of each other.  The
enemy made an attempt to board the _Southampton_, but being vigorously
repulsed, in a quarter of an hour after struck, and proved to be the
_Emeraude_, a French frigate of 28 guns and 245 men, 60 of whom were
either killed or wounded.  The action was fought at such close quarters
that the men used their handspikes, and two of the officers were killed
by a discharge from Captain Gilchrist's own blunderbuss.  The
_Southampton_ had her second lieutenant and 19 men killed, and every
officer except the captain, and 28 wounded.  While conducting her prize
into port, the _Southampton_ captured an 18-gun privateer belonging to

Among the worst ships in the service at that time were the two-deck 40
and 50 gun ships, for when any heavy sea was running, they were unable
to open their lower-deck ports, and were thus of even less force than
vessels carrying only 20 guns.  Numerous instances of this occurred, and
among others the _Antelope_, of 50 guns, Captain Thomas Saumarez, fell
in with a French privateer of 22 guns.  The _Antelope_ being unable at
the time to open her lower-deck ports in consequence of the heavy sea,
it took her two hours to capture the privateer, which even then would
probably have got off, had not her mizen-mast been shot away.

An action, celebrated in naval song, was that between the _Monmouth_, of
64 guns, commanded by Captain Gardiner, and the _Foudroyant_, of 84
guns.  Captain Gardiner had been flag-captain to Admiral Byng in the
action off Minorca, in which the _Foudroyant_ bore the French admiral's
flag, and he had declared that if he should ever fall in with the
_Foudroyant_ he would attack her at all hazards, though he should perish
in the encounter.  In company with the _Monmouth_ were the _Swiftsure_,
74, and the _Hampton Court_, 64; but the _Monmouth_ soon ran her
consorts out of sight, and at 8 p.m., getting up with the chase,
commenced the action.  Among the first wounded was the captain, but it
being in the arm, he refused to go below.  He soon knocked away some of
the _Foudroyant's_ spars, and then carried his ship close under her
starboard-quarter, where for four hours the _Monmouth_ maintained the
unequal contest.  At 9 p.m. the gallant Gardiner was mortally wounded in
the forehead by a musket-ball, when Lieutenant Robert Carket took
command.  Shortly afterwards the _Monmouth's_ mizen-mast was shot away,
on which the French crew cheered; but the _Foudroyant's_ mizen-mast
sharing the same fate, the British seamen returned the compliment, and
in a little time down came the French ship's main-mast.  Still, she
continued working her guns till some time after the arrival of the
_Swiftsure_, when she surrendered.  Her captain presented his sword to
Lieutenant Carket, thus acknowledging that he was captured by the
_Monmouth_.  To understand the disparity between the two ships, their
comparative broadside weight of metal should be known.  That of the
_Monmouth_ was 540 pounds, that of the _Foudroyant_ was 1136 pounds.
The _Foudroyant_, which was taken into the service, was looked upon for
many years as the finest ship in the British Navy.  She exceeded by
twelve feet in length the _Chester_ British first-rate, and measured
1977 tons.  All her guns abaft the main-mast were of brass.  Lieutenant
Carket was deservedly promoted to command her.

We must pass over one of the most memorable events of this reign, the
capture of Quebec by General Wolfe, in which Captain Cook, then a master
in the navy, first exhibited his talents and courage, and briefly
describe an important naval action, that of Sir Edward Hawke in Quiberon
Bay.  The admiral sailed from Spithead early in June, 1759, with a
powerful fleet to cruise off Brest and in soundings.  Hence he
despatched three small squadrons to scour the enemy's coast.  In
November a heavy gale compelled Sir Edward Hawke to take shelter in
Torbay.  During his absence M. de Conflans got safe into Brest with his
squadron from the West Indies.  Believing that the coast was clear, he
again put to sea on the 14th of November, and on the same day the
British fleet sailed from Torbay.  The next day Captain McCleverty, in
the _Gibraltar_, joined Sir Edward, with the information that he had
seen the French fleet about twenty-four leagues to the north-west of
Belleisle, steering to the south-east.  Sir Edward immediately shaped a
course for Quiberon Bay.  A strong wind forced the fleet to leeward; it
shifted, however, on the 19th to the westward.  The _Maidstone_ and
_Coventry_ frigates were ordered to look out ahead.  The French admiral
seeing them, sent some of his ships in chase, but soon after perceiving
the British fleet, he recalled them, and formed in order of battle.  On
the approach of the British ships he crowded sail and pushed in for the
land, not more than four or five leagues distant, in the hopes of
entangling them among the rocks and shoals.  In this he was
disappointed, as the van ships of the English fleet were close up to his
rear at half-past two o'clock, and in a few minutes the engagement
became general.  The _Formidable_, carrying the flag of the French
rear-admiral, was closely engaged by the _Resolution_, and having to
sustain the fire of every ship that passed, was obliged to strike, he
and 200 of his men being killed.  Lord Howe, in the _Magnanime_ attacked
the _Thesee_, but the _Montague_ running foul of the former so much
disabled her, that she fell astern.  Captain Keppel, in the _Torbay_,
then attacked the _Thesee_, when a sudden squall coming on, the
lower-deck ports of the latter ship not being closed, she filled and
instantly sank.  The _Superbe_ shared a similar fate alongside of the
_Royal George_.  Lord Howe having got clear, bore down and attacked the
_Hero_ so furiously that he soon compelled her to strike.  During the
night, which proved very boisterous, she drove on shore and was lost.
The enemy then endeavoured to make their escape; some succeeded, but
several got ashore, as did the _Essex_ and _Resolution_, but their crews
were saved.  The French admiral's ship, the _Soleil Royal_, had in the
dark anchored in the midst of the British fleet, on discovering which he
cut his cable, when he drove ashore.  On the weather moderating the
boats of the squadron were sent in to destroy the French ships.  The
_Soleil Royal_ was set on fire by her own crew, and the _Hero_ by the
British boats.  _La Juste_, of 70 guns, was also wrecked, but seven of
the French ships, by throwing overboard their guns and stores, escaped
into the river Yillaine.

The remnant of this fleet, under M. de Thurot, a celebrated privateer
commander, escaped out of Dunkirk for the purpose of making a descent on
the northern coast of England or Ireland.  After taking shelter during
the winter on the coast of Norway, he appeared with three frigates
before the town of Carrickfergus, which he attacked and laid under
contribution.  Having supplied his ships with such necessaries as they
were in need of, he re-embarked his men and took his departure.  At that
time Captain John Elliot, who was lying at Kinsale in the _Aeolus_, with
the _Pallas_ and _Brilliant_ under his command, on hearing that M. de
Thurot was on the coast, put to sea, and fortunately came up with him
off the Isle of Man.  A close action was maintained for an hour and
a-half, when the gallant Thurot and a large number of his men being
killed, the three frigates struck their colours.  His own ship, the
_Marechal Belleisle_, was so shattered that it was with difficulty she
could be kept afloat.  _La Blonde_ and _Terpsichore_ were added to the
British Navy.

The French at this time built a number of vessels on a new construction,
to which they gave the name of prames.  They were about a hundred feet
long, quite flat-bottomed, and capable of carrying four or five hundred
men.  They were to be employed in transporting troops over for the
invasion of England.  Admiral Rodney fell in with and destroyed a number
of them off Havre-de-Grace.

During this year the French took 330 ships from the English, whereas the
English took only 110 from the French.  In reality, however, the gain
was on the side of Great Britain, the French ships captured being
chiefly large privateers and rich armed merchantmen, while those England
lost were mostly coasters and colliers.  The trade of France, also, was
almost annihilated, and she in consequence employed the greater part of
her seamen in small privateers, which swarmed in the channel, the
vessels they captured being of like value.

George the Second had the satisfaction of seeing the arms of England
everywhere prospering, when on the 27th of October, 1760, he breathed
his last, in the thirty-third year of his reign and the seventy-seventh
of his age.

Gallant as were the officers and brave as were the men of the navy, they
were generally rough in their manners, and ignorant of all matters not
connected with their profession.  So they continued for many years, till
the naval college was established, and schoolmasters were placed on
board ships to afford the midshipmen instruction.  It could scarcely
have been otherwise, considering the early age at which young gentlemen
were sent to sea, when they had had barely time to learn more than
reading, writing, and arithmetic, while comparatively few had afterwards
time or opportunity to improve themselves.  Practices were allowed on
board ship which would not have been tolerated in Elizabeth's days.



On George the Third coming to the throne in 1760 he found the nation
still at war with France.

Among the gallant men actively employed at this time, whose names were
long as household words both in the navy and on shore, were Lord Anson,
Sir Edward Hawke, Admiral Rodney, Captain Alexander Hood, Commodore
Keppell, Captain Faulkner, Captain the Honourable Keith Stuart, Captain
Richard Howe, afterwards Earl Howe, Captains Shuldham, Sir Hugh
Palliser, the Honourable John Byron, Peter Parker, and Samuel

The fleets of England were at this time distributed much, as at the
present time, under flag-officers.  The Nore, the Channel Fleet, the
Mediterranean, Lisbon, North America, Newfoundland, the West Indies, the
Leeward Islands, Jamaica, the East Indies, and occasionally on the coast
of Africa.

We have numerous proofs that British seamen gained their victories as
much by their proficiency in gunnery and their activity as by their
strength and courage.  Of this there are numberless instances, among
others the following.  In 1761, on the evening of the 13th of August,
the _Bellona_, of 74 guns, and a crew of 550 men, Captain Robert
Faulkner, and the _Brilliant_, a 36-gun frigate, Captain James Logie, on
their passage from Lisbon to England, being off Vigo, came in sight of
three large ships.  The strangers were the French 74-gun ship
_Courageux_, of 700 men, and the 36-gun frigates _Hermione_ and
_Malicieuse_.  In consequence of seeing the British ships through the
magnifying medium of a hazy atmosphere, they concluded that they were
both line of battle ships, and dreading the issue of an engagement, took
to flight.  Captain Faulkner on this, suspecting them to be enemies,
immediately made sail in chase, and kept them in sight all night.  At
daylight the next morning he and his consort were about five miles from
the two ships, when the largest, throwing out a signal, took in her
studding-sail, wore round, and stood for the _Bellona_.  The two
frigates at the same time closed, and at six brought the _Brilliant_ to
action.  Captain Logie determined to find so much for them to do that
the _Bellona_ should have the _Courageux_ to herself.  So vigorously did
he work his guns that the frigates received such injury in their sails
and rigging as to be compelled to sheer off to repair damages.  As the
water was smooth and a light wind only blowing, the contest become one
of simple gunnery.  At half-past six the _Bellona_ was closely engaged
with the French 74.  In nine minutes both their mizen-masts fell
overboard, while the _Bellona's_ braces, shrouds, and rigging were much
cut up.  Captain Faulkner, fearing that the enemy would seize the
opportunity to sheer off, gave orders for immediately boarding, but the
_Courageux_, falling athwart the bow of his ship, rendered this
impracticable.  The _Bellona_ might now have been seriously raked fore
and aft, but Captain Faulkner immediately set all his studding-sails to
wear the ship round, when the crew flew to their guns on the side now
opposed to the enemy, from which they fired away with so much rapidity
for twenty minutes as almost to knock the _Courageux_ to pieces, while
the two frigates were unable, in consequence of the gallant way in which
they were kept at bay by Captain Logie, to render her any assistance.
Unable to withstand this unremitting fire, the _Courageux_ hauled down
her colours, her crew crying for quarter.  The two frigates on this bore
away and got off.  Considerable as was the damage done to the _Bellona_
in her rigging, she had suffered very little in the hull, and had lost
only 6 killed and 25 wounded; while the _Courageux_ had her foremast and
bowsprit alone standing, her decks torn up in several places, and large
breaches made in her sides; 220 of her men being killed, and half that
number wounded, among whom was her captain, Dugue L'Ambert.  The
_Brilliant_ lost her master and 5 men killed and 16 wounded.  The
_Courageux_ had on board 8500 pounds in specie.  She was carried by her
captor into Lisbon to be refitted, and was added to the British Navy
under the same name.  Proverbially thoughtless as are British seamen,
they have ever shown themselves equally kind and generous to those in
distress.  On this occasion the French crew being found destitute of
means for their support when at Lisbon, a subscription was raised on
board the _Bellona_ and _Brilliant_, as well as among the merchants on
shore, to enable them to return to France.

Still further improvements being made in Mr Harrison's timekeeper for
finding the longitude at sea, the _Deptford_, of 50 guns, was sent out
with the inventor on board.  She made the island of Maderia at the exact
time which he pointed out, and from thence proceeded to Jamaica, making
that island with equal accuracy.  On his return he found that the
instrument had lost only 1 minute, 54 and a half seconds.

This year also the experiment for coppering ships' bottoms as a
preservation against worms was introduced into the Royal Navy, and tried
on the _Alarm_ frigate, of 32 guns.

Another act of humanity deserves to be recorded.  In November, 1762,
Captain Clarke, commanding the _Sheerness_, of 24 guns, being closely
pursued by five French ships of war, took refuge in the neutral bay of
Villa Franca.  One of the enemy's ships, _La Minerva_, continued the
pursuit, and by way of bravado running in between the _Sheerness_ and
the land, attempted to anchor.  In doing this she was driven on the
rocks, and the sea running high was soon dashed to pieces.  On this,
although the other four ships were approaching, Captain Clarke, with
much humanity, sent in his boats, and saved the greater part of her
crew, twenty-five only perishing, although the whole would otherwise
have been lost.  Struck by this generous act, the French commodore went
on board the _Sheerness_ to thank Captain Clarke for the relief he had
offered his distressed countrymen.

To the credit of the Spaniards, it must be told how they on another
occasion exhibited much good-feeling.  Two ships, the _Lord Clive_ and
_Ambuscade_, had been sent out to attack the Spanish settlements on the
River Plate in South America.  During the action the first blew up; her
commander, and the whole crew, excepting seventy-eight, perishing.
They, escaping the flames, swam to the shore, when instead of being
looked upon as enemies who came to plunder the settlement, the Spaniards
treated them with the greatest tenderness, and furnished them with
clothes and every necessary refreshment.

On the 6th of June, 1762, Lord Anson died, and was succeeded as First
Lord of the Admiralty by the Earl of Halifax.

The king's ships were especially fortunate in their captures this year.
In the Mediterranean a rich Spanish ship from Barcelona, with 100,000
dollars on board, was taken; and the _Active_ frigate, Captain Sawyer,
and the _Favourite_ sloop of war, Captain Pownall, while on a cruise off
Cadiz, captured the _Hermione_, a large Spanish register ship from Lima.
She was the richest prize made during the war, the net proceeds of her
cargo amounting to 519,705 pounds, 10 shillings.  The admiral received
64,000 pounds; the captain of the _Active_, 65,000 pounds; three
commissioned officers of that ship, 13,800 pounds each; eight warrant
officers, 4000 pounds each; twenty petty officers, 1800 pounds each; and
each seaman and marine, 485 pounds.  The officers and crew of the
_Favourite_ received in the same proportion.  On arriving at Portsmouth
the treasure was sent up to London in twenty waggons, decorated with the
British colours flying over those of Spain, and escorted by a party of
seamen.  At Hyde Park corner they were joined by a troop of light horse,
and proceeded through the city, amidst the acclamations of the people,
to the Tower.

The Seven Years' War with France and Spain was now brought to a
conclusion, and peace was signed at Fontainebleau on the 3rd of
November.  England was now possessed of the most powerful fleet in the
world, while her resources were comparatively undiminished.  By means
chiefly of her navy, she had gained the whole of the provinces of
Canada, the islands of Saint John and Cape Breton, the navigation of the
river Mississippi, and that part of Louisiana which lies on the east of
that river, the town of New Orleans excepted, permission to cut logwood
and to build houses in the Bay of Honduras, and the province of
Florida--though she had to restore the Havannah and its dependencies to
Spain, as well as Martinico, Guadaloupe, Marie Galante, and Saint Lucia
to France--while she was to retain the Grenadas and Grenadines, with the
neutral islands of Dominica, Saint Vincent, and Tobago.  In Europe she
regained the island of Minorca and gave up that of Belleisle.  In Africa
she retained Senegal and restored Goree.  In Asia all her conquests made
from France were restored, with the restriction that France was not to
erect fortifications in the province of Bengal, and the fortifications
of Dunkirk were to be demolished.

Popular as had been the war, Parliament had only voted 70,000 men for
the navy, though in order that each ship should have had her full
complement, fully 85,000 men would have been required.  Many ships,
indeed, went to sea imperfectly manned; the proper number of the crews
being often made up of men sent from the jails, and landsmen carried off
by the press-gangs.  The ships themselves were also of a very inferior

Up to this time all 80-gun ships were three-deckers, but after 1759 no
more were built.  The building also of 70 and 60 gun ships was
discontinued about the same period.  The finest ships were those taken
from the French and added to the Royal Navy.  The first English 80-gun
ship on two decks was the _Caesar_, launched in 1793.

The Marine Society at the peace came to the resolution of receiving and
making provision for all boys under sixteen years of age who had been,
or might be, discharged from his majesty's service, by putting them out
apprentices in the merchant-service. 295 boys made application for
employment, and were provided for.

A body of sailors presented a petition to the king requesting to have
the D's, placed against their names for deserter, taken off.  His
majesty granted the request to all who had again entered on board a
king's ship.

It appears that the whole number of seamen and marines employed during
the war amounted to 184,893.  Of these, only 1512 had been killed in
action or by accident, while 133,700 had either died by sickness or were
missing--probably, had deserted.  Thus, on the books of the Navy Office
but 49,673 remained.  Of these, all except 16,000 were paid off at the
peace.  To pay them, Parliament granted 832,000 pounds; to pay the
officers, including those on half-pay, 398,000 pounds.

In 1764 Mr Harrison's chronometer was again tried on board the _Tartar_
frigate, commanded by Captain John Lindsay, who reported most favourably
on it.

This year the officers of his majesty's navy were directed to act as
custom-house officers on the coast of America, as well as in the British
Channel, but, from the complaints made, the Admiralty released them from
a service which they considered as degrading to their situation.

On the 3rd of July his majesty's ship _Dolphin_, of 20 guns, commanded
by the Honourable John Byron, and the _Tamer_ sloop of war, 14 guns,
Captain Mouat, sailed from Plymouth on a voyage of discovery.  On her
return in 1766 the _Dolphin_ was again despatched, under the command of
Captain Samuel Wallis, and the _Swallow_ sloop of war, Captain Carteret,
was ordered to accompany her till she should have got through the
Straits of Magellan.

In 1768 a pump, invented by Mr Coles in 1764, was tried on board the
_Seaford_ frigate in Portsmouth harbour, and it was found that with four
men it pumped out a ton of water in 43 and a half seconds; with two men,
in 55 seconds; and when choked with shingle ballast, it was cleared in 4
minutes: while the old pump, with seven men, pumped out one ton of water
in 76 seconds.

Early this year the Royal Society presented a memorial to his majesty,
expressing a wish that proper vessels might be appointed to sail to the
southward to observe the transit of Venus over the disc of the sun.  The
Admiralty accordingly, for this service, purchased the _Endeavour_
barque, and placed her under the command of Lieutenant James Cook.  Mr
Charles Green was appointed astronomer, and Mr Banks and Dr Solander
embarked on board her.

In the month of June, 1769, a French frigate having anchored in the
Downs without paying the usual compliment to the British flag, Captain
John Hollwell, the senior officer there, in the _Apollo_ frigate, sent
on board to demand the customary salute.  The French captain refused to
comply, upon which Captain Hollwell ordered the _Hawke_ sloop of war to
fire two shots over her, when the Frenchman thought proper to salute.

In 1771 Admiral Sir Charles Knowles obtained his majesty's permission to
enter into the service of the Empress of Russia as admiral of her fleet.
Though high payments were promised him, it appears that he was very
inadequately rewarded.  On his return in 1774, he found some difficulty
in being reinstated to his rank as admiral.

A machine, invented by Dr Lynn, for making salt water fresh, was tried
on board the _Resolution_ at Deptford with great success, in consequence
of which the Admiralty directed all ships of war to be fitted with a
still and the necessary apparatus.

In 1772 Captain James Cook, who had lately returned, undertook a second
voyage of discovery in the Pacific, on board the _Resolution_,
accompanied by Captain Furneaux in the _Adventure_.

We now come to the first outbreak of hostilities with the revolted
provinces of North America.  At Rhode Island, his majesty's schooner
_Gaspee_, commanded by Lieutenant Duddingstone, was attacked in the
night by 200 armed men in eight boats, who, notwithstanding the defence
made by her commander, seized the vessel, when he and several of his
people were wounded, and the rebels taking out the crew, set her on

In 1773 Lord Howe presented a petition to the House of Commons in behalf
of the captains in the navy, soliciting an increase of half-pay.  It was
carried by a great majority, and two shillings a-day were added to the
half-pay.  The pay of surgeons was also increased, as was that of

It was now evident that the ministry expected to be plunged into war.
On the 26th of April the guard-ships were ordered to take on board six
months' provisions, to complete their complement of men, and to prepare
for sea.  All the ships of war reported fit for service were got ready
to be commissioned, rendezvous were opened for the raising of seamen,
and a proclamation issued by his majesty offering bounties of 3 pounds
to every able seaman who should enter the navy, 2 pounds to an ordinary
seaman, and 1 pound to a landsman.  On the 22nd of June his majesty
reviewed the fleet at Spithead, consisting of 20 sail of the line, 2
frigates, and a few sloops, when he was saluted by 232 guns.  It was the
first of many visits.  He knighted several officers, others received
promotion, and sums were distributed among the dockyard artisans, the
crews of his yacht, the poor of Portsea and Gosport, and the prisoners
confined for debt in Portsmouth jail.

Another voyage was undertaken to the North Pole in the hopes of
discovering a passage to the East Indies.  The _Racehorse_ and _Carcass_
bombs, commanded by the Honourable Captain Phipps--afterwards Lord
Mulgrave--and Captain Lutwidge, were equipped for the enterprise, but,
unable to penetrate the ice, returned in the same autumn.  On board the
_Racehorse_ sailed, in the capacity of captain's coxswain, one who was
ere long to make his name known to fame--Horatio Nelson.

His majesty's ship _Kent_, commanded by Captain Fielding, was nearly
destroyed while saluting the admiral as she was sailing out of Plymouth
Sound, the wadding from the guns having communicated with some powder in
the ammunition-chest on the poop.  It blew up all the after-part of the
ship, when most of the men on the poop were blown overboard, 50 of whom
being killed or dreadfully wounded.

On the 29th of June, 1775, the Hibernian Marine Society in Dublin was
instituted for maintaining and educating the children of decayed,
reduced, or deceased seamen, and apprenticing them to the sea-service.

The news arrived of a conflict between the revolted provinces and a
detachment of the king's troops at Lexington, when the latter were
compelled to retire with considerable loss into the town of Boston.
This was followed by the attack on Bunker's Hill on the 17th of June,
when the British also lost a number of officers and men, and the flame
of war now began to blaze over the whole of the continent.  The
incidents, however, of the American war of independence cannot but be
briefly touched on.  A fleet under Lord Shuldham and Commodore Sir Peter
Parker was sent to blockade the principal naval ports, and both parties
fitted out small vessels on Lake Champlain to carry on the contest.  The
English squadron was under the command of Captain Pringle, who found the
Americans drawn up in an advantageous position to defend the passage
between the island of Valicour and the main.  As the enemy was to
windward, he was unable to work up his large vessels, so that his
gunboats and a schooner were alone engaged.  He, however, succeeded in
sinking the largest American schooner and a smaller vessel.  At night,
he called off the vessels engaged, and anchored his fleet in line, to be
ready for an attack the next morning.  General Arnold, who commanded the
American squadron, finding it inferior, availed himself of the darkness
of the night, and withdrew towards Crown Point.  Captain Pringle
followed him on the 13th, when another action ensued, and continued for
two hours, the Americans being dispersed, leaving the _Washington_
galley, with General Waterburn on board, in the hands of the British;
others were run on shore and burnt by their own crews, the remainder
effecting their escape to Ticonderoga.

Letters of marque and reprisal were now granted by the Admiralty against
the thirteen revolted provinces.  On the 18th of March the French king
issued an edict to seize all British ships in the ports of France, and
on the 13th of April a squadron of French ships of war under the command
of the Comte D'Estaing sailed for North America.  It was not, however,
till the 5th of June that an English fleet under Admiral Byron was sent
out in quest of it.  The English fleet was dispersed by a heavy gale,
when Admiral Byron alone succeeded in reaching the American coast.  He
found the French squadron already at anchor in the neighbourhood of New

Admiral Keppel was now appointed to the command of the Channel Fleet,
and soon afterwards the _Milford_ captured the _Licorne_, a French
frigate of 32 guns, which, with three others, had been found
reconnoitring the fleet.  The _Arethusa_ and _Alert_ cutters pursued the
other French vessels, and at night came up with the _Belle Poule_, when
the first action of this war ensued, celebrated in song.  Captain
Marshall informed her commander that his orders were to conduct him to
the British admiral, with which the French captain peremptorily refused
to comply.  Captain Marshall then fired a shot over her, which was
instantly returned by a broadside from the _Belle Poule_.  A desperate
engagement took place, and continued with great obstinacy for two hours,
by which time they were close in with the French coast.  The _Belle
Poule_ then stood in to a small bay, from whence a number of boats came
out and towed her into a place of safety.  The _Arethusa's_ main-mast
fell over the side, and she was otherwise so disabled that it was with
the utmost difficulty she could clear the land.  The next morning she
was towed back to the fleet by the _Valiant_ and _Monarch_.

  "The Arethusa."

  Come, all you jolly sailors bold,
  Whose hearts are cast in honour's mould,
  While English glory I unfold,
  Huzza to the _Arethusa_!
  She is a frigate, tight and brave,
  As ever stemm'd the dashing wave;
  Her men are staunch
  To their favourite launch;
  And when the foe shall meet our fire,
  Sooner than strike we'll all expire
  On board of the _Arethusa_.

  'Twas with the spring fleet she went out
  The English Channel to cruise about,
  When four French sail in show so stout
  Bore down on the _Arethusa_.
  The famed _Belle Poule_ straight ahead did lie;
  The _Arethusa_ seemed to fly--
  Not a sheet, or a tack,
  Or a brace, did she slack,
  Tho' the Frenchmen laugh'd and thought it stuff;
  But they knew not the handful of men, how tough
  On board of the _Arethusa_.

  On deck five hundred men did dance,
  The stoutest they could find in France;
  We with two hundred did advance
  On board of the _Arethusa_.
  Our captain hailed the Frenchmen, Ho!
  The Frenchmen they cried out, Hallo!
  "Bear down, d'ye see, To our admiral's lee."
  "No, no," says the Frenchman, "that can't be;"
  "Then I must lug you along with me,"
  Says the saucy _Arethusa_.

  The fight was off the Frenchmen's land,
  We forced them back upon their strand,
  For we fought till not a stick would stand
  Of the gallant _Arethusa_.
  And now we've driven the foe ashore,
  Never to fight with Britons more.
  Let each fill a glass
  To his favourite lass;
  A health to our captain and officers true,
  And all that belong to the jovial crew
  Of the gallant _Arethusa_.

On the 23rd of June Admiral Keppel's fleet came in sight of that of the
French under the command of the Comte D'Orvilliers.  After an engagement
of some hours, the French fleet took to flight during the night, and
escaped into Brest.

It is impossible to relate the numberless gallant actions which from
this period took place for many years between the ships of Great Britain
and her enemies.

In consequence of charges exhibited by Sir Hugh Palliser against Admiral
Keppel for his conduct in the engagement just mentioned, a court-martial
was held at the governor's house at Portsmouth to try him, when the
following sentence was pronounced:--"That in their opinion the charge
against Admiral Keppel is malicious and ill-founded, it having appeared
that the said admiral, so far from having, by misconduct or neglect of
duty on the days therein alluded to, lost an opportunity of rendering
essential service to the State, and thereby tarnished the honour of the
British Navy, behaved as became a judicious, brave, and experienced

On the following day Admiral Keppel received the thanks of both Houses
of Parliament.

Not long after this the "gallant _Arethusa_" was wrecked upon the rocks
near Ushant, in pursuit of an enemy.  The crew were saved, and treated
by the French with great humanity.

On the 15th of June, 1779, his Royal Highness Prince William Henry
embarked on board his majesty's ship _Prince George_, 90 guns, to serve
as a midshipman in the navy.  The next day a proclamation was issued to
commence hostilities against Spain, in consequence of the hostile
attitude that country had assumed.  The first Spanish ship captured
during the war was taken by the _Pearl_, of 32 guns, commanded by
Captain George Montague, during a cruise off the Western Islands.  After
an action which lasted from half-past nine till half-past eleven, she
struck, and proved to be the _Santa Armonica_, a Spanish frigate of 32
guns and 271 men, 38 of whom were killed and 45 wounded.  The _Pearl_
had 12 killed and 10 wounded.

Admiral Byron, though a gallant officer, appears always to have been
unfortunate.  In the last engagement which took place while he commanded
the British fleet on the American station, Comte D'Estaing managed to
pass him and escape after severely mauling his ships, when 103 men were
killed and 346 wounded, though the French loss amounted to 1200 men
killed and 1500 wounded.

At this time the want of active flag-officers was severely felt.
Promotions were exceedingly slow, so that it was not until officers were
nearly superannuated that they attained to that rank.  The junior
captain promoted in 1779 to the rank of rear-admiral was Sir John
Lockhart Rose, who had been twenty-three years on the list of
post-captains.  Others had been a still longer time.

The French ships also had a great advantage in being coppered, besides
which, though respectively carrying the same number of guns as the
British, they were much larger vessels.

Among the actions fought at this time, one deserves especially to be
noticed.  It ended disastrously to the English flag; although nothing
could exceed the gallantry displayed by British officers and seamen on
the occasion.  Captain Richard Pearson, commanding the 44-gun ship
_Serapis_, in company of the armed 22-gun ship _Countess of
Scarborough_, Captain Thomas Piercy, was escorting the Baltic Fleet,
loaded with naval stores, which were at that time of especial
consequence to supply the dockyards, left almost destitute of them.  The
_Serapis_ was one of a remarkably bad class of ships, worse even than
the two-decked 50-gun ships.  She measured 886 tons, and her armament
consisted of 20 long 18-pounders on the lower-deck, 22 long 12-pounders
on the main-deck, and 2 long 6-pounders on the forecastle, making in all
44 guns.  These guns she carried on two decks, but the lower-deck ports
were so close to the water's edge that it was dangerous to open them in
a seaway, besides which the space between decks was so low that it was
with difficulty they could be worked, while the upper-deck had only a
light breast-high bulwark.  From the length of the lower-deck guns they
could not be easily run in, while the 12-pounders on the main-deck were
so old and their vents so large that much powder exploded through them.

The convoy had already made the coast of England, and was close in with
Scarborough, when information was received from the shore that a flying
squadron of the enemy's ships had been seen the day before standing to
the southward.  Upon receiving this intelligence, Captain Pearson made
the signal for the convoy to bear down under his lee, but they still
kept stretching out from the land, till the headmost vessel caught sight
of the enemy, when they tacked and stood inshore, letting fly their
topgallant sheets and firing guns.  Captain Pearson on this made sail to
windward to get between the enemy's ships and the convoy.  At one
o'clock the strangers were seen from the mast-head of the _Serapis_, and
at four were discovered from the deck to be three large ships and a
brig.  His consort, _Countess of Scarborough_, being at this time close
inshore, Captain Pearson ordered her by signal to join him.  The
approaching ships were three fitted out in France, but carrying the
American flag, and commanded by Captain Paul Jones.  The largest had
formerly been an Indiaman, and her name had been changed to that of the
_Bon Homme Richard_.  She is supposed to have measured about 946 tons,
and to have carried on her main-deck about 28 long 12-pounders, on the
lower-deck, 6 or 8 18-pounders, and 2 long 6-pounders on the forecastle.
The other ships were the American 36-gun frigate _Alliance_, the French
32-gun frigate _Pallas_, the _Vengeance_, a French 14-gun brig, and the
French _Cerf_ cutter.  As yet, however, the strangers' colours were not

At about 7:20 the two-decked ship, soon known to be the _Bon Homme
Richard_, brought to on the larboard bow of the _Serapis_, within
musket-shot, when Captain Pearson hailed her, and asked, "What ship's

"The _Princess Royal_," was the answer.  Captain Pearson then asked from
whence they came, and on an evasive answer being returned, declared that
he would fire if his question was not directly answered.  The stranger
then fired a gun, on which the _Serapis_ gave her her broadsides.
Several broadsides were now exchanged, when the American ship hove all
aback, and dropped on the quarter of the _Serapis_, evidently with the
intention of raking her.  Filling again, she ran the _Serapis_ aboard on
the weather or larboard quarter, and an attempt was now made to board
her, but was at once repulsed.  Captain Pearson now backed his yards to
enable him to get square with his antagonist, but gathering too much
stern-way, the _Richard_ was able to fill and stand across his bows.
Her mizen-shrouds, however, catching the jib-boom of the _Serapis_, and
the spar giving way, the ships dropped alongside each other head and
stern.  Both ships were kept in this position in consequence of the
spare anchor of the _Serapis_ having entered the gallery of the
_Richard_, when a furious cannonade was carried on, the muzzles of the
guns touching each other.  While in this position, the _Alliance_
frigate coming up, sailed round the combatants, pouring in a galling
fire on the _Serapis_, to which no return could be made.  There could
have been little doubt that even thus Captain Pearson would have gained
the victory, had not some hand grenades been thrown on his deck, which
set the ship on fire several times, one of them igniting a cartridge of
powder, the flames of which communicated from cartridge to cartridge all
the way off, and blew up the whole of the people and several officers
who were quartered abaft the main-mast.  By this time all the men on the
quarter and main-decks were killed or wounded.  Notwithstanding this, so
furious had been the fire of the _Serapis_, that at ten the enemy called
for quarter; but on Captain Pearson hailing to inquire if they had
struck, and no answer being given, he ordered the boarders away.  As,
however, they reached the deck of the enemy, they found a superior
number of men concealed with pikes in their hands ready to receive them.
On this the crew of the _Serapis_ retreated to their own ship, and
instantly returned to their guns; but at the same moment the frigate
again poured another broadside into her with such effect that the
main-mast fell, and Captain Pearson being unable to get a single gun to
bear on his antagonist, was compelled to strike his colours.  He and his
first lieutenant were immediately escorted on board the _Bon Homme
Richard_.  He found her condition to be even worse than his own; her
quarters and counter were entirely driven in; the whole of her
lower-deck guns dismounted, and she was also on fire in two places, with
six or seven feet of water in the hold.

In the meantime Captain Piercy had been closely engaged with the
_Pallas_ and _Vengeance_, but perceiving another frigate bearing down on
him, he also was compelled to surrender.  The next day the _Bon Homme
Richard_ sank, and Paul Jones and the French frigate carried their
prizes into the Texel.  The two English captains had done their duty,
and saved their convoy, which all escaped.  Of the numerous crew on
board the _Richard_ no less a number than 317 were killed or wounded,
while the _Serapis_ lost 49 killed and 68 wounded, many others suffering
from burns--while, from the ill-treatment the prisoners received, many
of the wounded died.

On the return of Captains Pearson and Piercy, the former was knighted
and the latter promoted, and both received testimonials from the London
Assurance Company, as an acknowledgment of their skill and bravery,
which had preserved the valuable fleet from capture.  Had ships of
sufficient force been sent out to convoy the fleet, the enemy would, in
all probability, have been captured.

A considerable change was now about to be introduced in the character of
the guns used on board ships of war.  On the banks of the River Carron
in Scotland, the ironworks of the Carron Company for some time existed.
In these works, in the year 1779, a piece of ordnance had been cast, the
invention of John Robert Melville, shorter than a 4-pounder, and lighter
than a 12-pounder.  It carried a shot of 68 pounds, and from its
destructive effects, when fired against a mass of timber, its inventor
called it the "Smasher."  From the works in which it was cast, it soon
obtained the name of "carronade."  Several smaller pieces were shortly
afterwards cast, to carry shot of 24, 18, and 12 pounds.  These guns
were eagerly purchased by the owners of privateers fitted out to cruise
against the Americans, and the Lords of the Admiralty approving of them,
directed some 18 and 12-pounder carronades to be placed on board a few
frigates and smaller vessels of the Royal Navy.  It was some time,
however, before naval officers approved of them; some complained that
the carronade was too short to allow its fire to pass clear of the
ship's side, and that its range was not of sufficient extent to be of
use; that one pair of their quarter-deck carronades being in the way of
the rigging, endangered the lanyards and shrouds.  The Board of Ordnance
also asserted that the old gun, from the comparative length of its
range, was superior to the carronade, notwithstanding the greater weight
of the shot it carried.  Thus, curiously enough, although a considerable
number of carronades were placed on board ships of war, they were not
reckoned for some time as belonging to the armament of the ship, and
officers persisted in speaking only of the long guns they carried, and
ignoring the carronades, although, in reality, far more destructive in
their effects.  Especially did they object to exchange any of their long
guns for carronades.  On board the larger ships, as the quarter-decks
carried already as many guns as there was room for ports on each side,
no additional pieces could be admitted; but the forecastle in most ships
allowed of the opening of a pair of extra ports, and by strengthening
the poop, it was found that three pairs of ports could be placed there.
A 50-gun ship had room for three pairs of ports on her poop, one pair on
her quarter-deck, and a pair on her forecastle.  By similar alterations,
a 44-gun ship was made to carry ten carronades, while on board the
sixth-rates and the quarter-deck ship-sloop class, by building up
bulwarks or barricades, they could be made to carry eight carronades.

Notwithstanding the fewer number of men with which carronades were
worked, and the powerful effect of their shot at close quarters, it was
some time before all British men-of-war were entirely furnished with
them.  At length it was determined to arm with them the 44-gun ship
_Rainbow_, commanded by Captain Henry Trollope, who, with Lord Keith,
then Captain Keith Elphinstone, and Admiral Macbride, were among the
first patrons of the new style of gun.  About March, 1782, she was
equipped with 48 carronades--namely, 20 68-pounders on her main-deck, 22
42-pounders on her upper deck, 4 32-pounders on her quarter-deck, and 2
32-pounders on her forecastle, her broadside weight of metal being thus
1238 pounds, whereas in her former armament of long guns, the broadside
weight of metal was only 318 pounds.  Thus armed, with the
above-mentioned officers and crew, she sailed on a cruise in search of
an enemy; for some months, however, she was unable to come within
gunshot of a foe, and it was not till the 4th of September of that year,
when, being off the Isle du Bas, she came in sight of a large French
frigate, to which she at once gave chase.  The enemy proved to be the
_Hebe_, mounting 28 18-pounders, and 12 8-pounders, 40 guns in all, and
measuring 1063 tons, with 363 men on board, commanded by the Chevalier
de Vigney.  At 7 a.m. the _Rainbow_ commenced firing her bow-chasers,
which were returned by the frigate, and, as it proved, several shot
falling on board, the enemy discovered their size.  The French captain
concluding that if such large shot came from the forecastle of the
enemy's ship, larger ones would follow from her lower batteries, after
exchanging a single broadside with the _Rainbow_, for the honour of his
flag, wisely surrendered.  During this short action the _Hebe's_
foremast had been disabled by one of the 68-pound shot, her wheel had
been knocked away, and her second captain and four men killed.  No one
was hurt on board the _Rainbow_.  The _Hebe_, a beautiful ship, was
purchased into the British Navy, and long served as a model to English
shipwrights.  No reflection could be cast upon the courage of the French
captain, for had he continued the action, his ship would in a few
minutes probably have been sunk, the _Rainbow's_ broadside weight of
metal being nearly four times that of the _Hebe_, though the number of
guns she carried was only four less than that of his antagonist.  This
action went far to establish the reputation of the carronades.

Towards the end of 1779 information was received that the French had
agreed to assist Spain in an attempt to retake Gibraltar, in consequence
of which Sir George Rodney, who was about to sail to the West Indies
with 20 sail of the line convoying a large fleet of merchantmen, was
directed to relieve Gibraltar before he proceeded westward.  Another
squadron under Rear-Admiral Digby was also sent out, which was to return
to England.  For several years since 1773 a Spanish army had been kept
before Gibraltar, but General Elliot, who commanded the fortress, had
completely baffled all its attempts.  Rodney on his way out, when off
Cape Saint Vincent, caught sight of a Spanish squadron convoying a fleet
of merchant-vessels.  The enemy on discovering him crowded all sail to
escape, on which he made a signal for a general chase.  The English
ships gained rapidly on the enemy.  At about five in the evening the
_Bienfaisant_, Captain John Macbride, got up with the Spanish 70-gun
ship the _San Domingo_, but scarcely had she opened her fire when the
latter blew up, and every soul on board, with the exception of one man,
perished.  The poor fellow was picked up by the _Pegasus_, but was so
much injured that he expired shortly afterwards.  The action was
continued during the whole night, and at 2 a.m. the following morning
Admiral Rodney finding that the enemy's ships were too much disabled to
enable them to escape, hove to.  Besides the one which blew up, the
_Phoenix_ 80-gun ship and five 70-gun ships were taken.  The weather
being bad, it was not without great difficulty that the fleet, which had
got into shoal water, could work off again.  Two of the prizes, on board
of which prize-crews had been put, but from which on account of the bad
weather it had been impossible to remove the officers and men, were
recaptured by the Spaniards and carried into Cadiz.  The small-pox
raging on board the _Bienfaisant_, Captain Macbride, who had taken
possession of the _Phoenix_, actuated by principles of humanity worthy
of being recorded, to avoid the risk of infection spreading among the
prisoners, sent the following proposals to Don Juan de Langara, who
accepted them with thanks:--

"Captain Macbride consents that neither officers nor men shall be
removed from the _Phoenix_, Admiral Langara being responsible for their
conduct; and in case we shall fall in with any Spanish or French ships
of war, he will not suffer Lieutenant Thomas Lewis, the officer now in
command of the _Phoenix_, to be interrupted in conducting and defending
the ship to the last extremity.  And if, meeting with superior force,
the _Phoenix_ should be retaken and the _Bienfaisant_ fight her way
clear, the admiral and his officers and men are to hold themselves
prisoners of war to Captain Macbride, upon their parole of honour,
(which he is confident with Spanish officers is ever sacred).  Likewise,
if the _Bienfaisant_ should be taken and the _Phoenix_ escape, the
admiral and his officers will no longer be prisoners, but freed
immediately.  In short, they are to follow the fate of the

This remarkable agreement was executed with the strictest honour.

Soon afterwards Captain Macbride, after a smart action, captured the
_Comte d'Arotis_, private ship of war, mounting 64 guns, and 644 men,
commanded by the Chevalier de Clonard.

Admiral Rodney, who had been joined by Rear-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker at
Saint Lucia, gaining intelligence of the French fleet, which consisted
of 25 sail of the line and 8 frigates, sailed in search of them.  On the
19th of April, having come in sight of the enemy on the previous
evening, about noon he threw out a signal for every ship to bear down,
steer for them, and engage at close quarters her opposite in the enemy's
line.  At 1 the action became general, and continued until 4:15 p.m.,
when the French took to flight, the crippled state of the British ships
rendering pursuit impracticable.  Every exertion having now been made to
repair damages, on the 20th the _George_ again caught sight of the
French, and pursued them without effect for three successive days.  The
French ran under Guadaloupe, where they had taken shelter.  On the 6th,
hearing that they had left their anchorage and were approaching to
windward of Martinique, Rodney put to sea, and continued turning to
windward between it and Saint Lucia until the 10th, when the enemy's
fleet was discovered about three leagues to windward.  Still the French
studiously avoided coming to a general action.  Sir George on this, to
deceive them, directed his fleet to make all possible sail on a wind.
This manoeuvre led the enemy to think he was retiring, and emboldened
him to approach much nearer than usual.  Rodney allowed them to indulge
in their mistake, until their own ship had approached abreast of his
centre, when, by a fortunate shift of wind, being able to weather the
enemy, he made the signal to Rear-Admiral Parker, who led the van, to
tack and gain the wind of the enemy.  The French fleet instantly wore
and fled under a crowd of sail, but would have been compelled to fight,
had not the wind on a sudden changed.  The _Albion_, Captain Bowyer,
late in the evening, reached the centre of the enemy's line, and
commenced a heavy cannonade, supported by the _Conqueror_ and the rest
of the van; but as the enemy continued under a press of sail, the
remainder of the fleet could not partake in the action.  Still, Rodney
perseveringly followed up the enemy, and on the 19th the wind again
changing gave him hopes of being able to bring on a general action.
Before, however, he could close it again shifted; but the French admiral
finding that his rear could not escape, suddenly took the resolution of
risking a general action.  As soon is his van had weathered the British,
he bore away along the line to windward, discharging his broadsides, but
at such a distance as to do little execution.  The Frenchmen, however,
could not avoid being closely attacked by the ships of the van, led by
Commodore Hotham.  After this the enemy continued under a press of sail
to the northward, and on the 21st were out of sight.

In these several actions the British loss amounted to 186 killed and 464
wounded, including 7 officers in the former and 14 in the latter list.

On the 10th and 11th of October a dreadful hurricane blew over the West
Indian Islands, during which eight ships were lost, with the greater
portion of their crews, and six were severely damaged.  The French were
also great sufferers.

A squadron, under Rear-Admiral Rowley, on the passage to England with a
convoy, also suffered dreadfully.  The admiral, with five of his ships,
returned to Jamaica dismasted.  The _Berwick_, also dismasted, with
difficulty arrived in England.  The _Stirling Castle_ was totally lost
on the Silver Keys, near Hispaniola, and only fifty of her crew saved;
while the _Thunderer_, which had separated from the fleet, foundered,
and every soul perished.  Several other ships were driven on shore, and
eight lost their masts.

Towards the end of 1780 war was declared against the Dutch, who, it was
found, were making preparations to attack England.  On the 5th of
August, 1781, Rear-Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fell in with the Dutch fleet
off the Dogger Bank, when an action ensued in which both fleets were
dreadfully cut to pieces, the Dutch escaping into the Texel.  One of
their ships, of 68 guns, the _Hollandia_, went down in twenty-two fathom
water.  Her pendant the next morning was seen above the surface, when
Captain Patten, of the _Belle Poule_, struck it, and brought it to Sir
Hyde Parker.  The English lost 104 men killed and 339 wounded, among
whom were 30 officers.

Sir George Rodney at the same time attacked the Dutch island of Saint
Eustatia, which, with those of Saint Martin and Saba, at once
capitulated, a richly-laden fleet falling into the hands of the English,
as well as a vast quantity of merchandise stored up.

One of the most important events of this period must now be described.
The hopes of the Spaniards had been raised in consequence of their
recapture of the island of Minorca; General Murray, in command of Fort
Saint Philip--the greater portion of his troops having died or been
struck down with scurvy--after a heroic defence, having been compelled
to yield.  The Spanish army, which had so long been besieging Gibraltar,
was now increased to 40,000 men, including 12,000 French, and, in
addition, there were 47 sail of the line, 40 gunboats with heavy cannon,
40 bomb-vessels, each armed with 12-inch mortars, 5 large bomb-ketches,
and 300 large boats to be employed in landing the troops as soon as a
breach should be made--besides which, there were 10 large floating
batteries, the invention of the Chevalier D'Arzon, a French engineer of
great repute, on such a principle that they would not, he believed, be
sunk or set on fire by shot.  It was said that no less than 1200 pieces
of heavy ordnance had been accumulated before the place, with 83,000
barrels of gunpowder, and shot, shells, military stores, and provisions
in the same proportion.  The chief reliance of the besiegers was,
however, placed on the floating batteries.  They were built of
extraordinary thickness, and so fortified that they were proof from all
external, as well as internal, violence.  To prevent their being set on
fire, a strong case was formed of timber and cork, a long time soaked in
water, and enclosing a large body of wet sand; the whole being of such
thickness and density that no cannon-ball could penetrate within two
feet of the inner partition.

For this purpose, ten large ships, from 600 to 1400 tons burden, had
been cut-down, and 200,000 cubic feet of timber worked in their
construction.  To protect them from bombs, and the men at the batteries
from grape, or descending shot, a hanging roof was contrived; which was
worked up and down by springs.  The roof was composed of a strong
rope-work netting, laid over with a thick covering of wet hides, while
its sloping position was calculated to prevent shells from lodging, and
to throw them off into the sea before they could burst.  To render the
fire of these batteries the more rapid, a kind of match had been
contrived, so to be placed that all the guns in the battery could go off
at the same instant.  To defend them from red-hot shot, with which the
fortress was supplied, the newest part of the plan was that by which
water could be carried in every direction to neutralise its effect.  In
imitation of the circulation of the blood, a variety of pipes and canals
perforated all the solid workmanship in such a manner that a continued
succession of water could be conveyed to every part of the structure, a
number of pumps being adapted to afford an unlimited supply.  It was
thus believed that these terrible machines, capable of inflicting
destruction, would themselves be invulnerable.  The largest carried 21
guns, and their complement of men was 36 for each gun in use, exclusive
of officers and mariners for working the ships.

General Elliot, undaunted by the preparations made by the enemy,
determined to try what he and his brave garrison could do to counteract
them.  Accordingly, at seven o'clock in the morning of the 8th of
September, he opened a tremendous fire on their works with red-hot shot,
carcasses, and shells.  At ten o'clock the Mahon battery, with the one
adjoining it, were in flames.  By five in the evening both were entirely
consumed; a great part of the eastern parallel, and of the trenches and
parapet for musketry, were likewise destroyed.  A large battery near the
bay was so much damaged by having repeatedly been set on fire, that the
enemy were compelled to abandon it, while they lost an immense number of
men in their endeavour to extinguish the flames.  The next day the
French and Spaniards opened a new battery of 64 heavy cannon, which,
with the artillery from the lines and mortars, continued to play upon
the garrison without intermission the whole day.  At the same time,
seven Spanish ships of the line and two French, with some frigates and
small vessels, passing along the works discharged their broadsides,
until they had passed Europa Point, and got into the Mediterranean.

In the meantime, the English squadron being too small to compete with
them, the seamen had been landed, under the command of Captain Roger
Curtis, and had been placed in the batteries at Europa Point.  Hence
they had attacked the Spanish line-of-battle ships, and compelled them
to haul off.

About eight o'clock in the morning of the 13th of September, the
battering ships lying at the head of the bay, under the command of
Rear-Admiral Don Moreno, got under sail to attack the fort.  At ten
o'clock the admiral having taken up his station off the king's bastion,
the other ships extended themselves at moderate distances from the old
to the new mole, in a line parallel with the rock, at a distance of
about one thousand yards, and immediately commenced a heavy cannonade,
supported by the cannon and mortars on the enemy's lines.  On seeing
this the garrison opened a tremendous fire; the red-hot shot were thrown
with such precision that about two o'clock in the afternoon, the smoke
was seen to issue from the admiral and another ship, the men in vain
endeavouring to extinguish the fire by pouring water into the holes.  By
one o'clock the two ships were in flames, and seven more took fire in
succession.  Signals of distress were now seen flying on board the
Spanish ships, while the launches came up for the purpose of taking the
men out of the burning ships, it being impossible to remove them.  When
he saw this, Captain Curtis advanced with his gunboats and drew them up
so as to flank the enemy's battering ships, which were annoyed by an
incessant, heavy, and well-directed fire from the garrison.  The Spanish
boats were so assailed by showers of shot and shell that they would not
venture on a nearer approach, and were compelled to abandon their ships
and friends to the flames.  Several of the enemy's boats were sunk; the
crew of one of these were all drowned, with the exception of an officer
and twelve men, who floated on the wreck under the walls, and were
rescued by the English.

The scene was full of horrors.  Numbers of men were observed in the
midst of the flames, imploring relief; others were seen floating on
pieces of timber; while even those on board the ships not on fire
expressed the deepest distress, and were equally urgent in asking for
assistance.  Captain Curtis and his gallant sailors, though exposed to
the greatest possible danger, eagerly boarded the burning ships to
rescue the now conquered enemy from destruction.  While they were thus
engaged, one of the largest of the Spanish ships blew up, spreading its
wreck far around.  By this accident, one English gunboat was sunk, and
another much damaged.  A piece of falling timber struck a hole through
the bottom of Captain Curtis' barge, by which his coxswain was killed
and two of his crew wounded; the rest were saved from perishing by the
seamen stuffing their jackets into the hole, which kept the boat afloat
until others came to their assistance.  While the ships were burning,
numbers of Spaniards were seen floating on pieces of timber, liable
every moment to be washed off, or destroyed by the shot from the
garrison.  As soon, however, as it was discovered that the enemy were
defeated, the firing from Gibraltar entirely ceased, and every possible
effort was made to save the Spaniards from death.  Nine of these
formidable batteries were burnt by the red-hot shot, and the tenth was
set on fire by her crew, as it was found impracticable to carry her off.
Even had the battering ships not taken fire, the Spaniards would have
had no chance of success, as the works of the fortress, notwithstanding
the tremendous fire directed against them, were scarcely damaged.
During the nine weeks the siege had been going on, only 65 of the
garrison had been killed, and less than 400 wounded, while the seamen
had only lost two or three men.

A heavy gale coming on, several of the French and Spanish ships suffered
material damage, and the _Saint Michael_, a 72-gun ship, carrying 650
men, was driven close under the works, and struck after a few shot had
been fired into her.  She was got off by Captain Curtis a few days
afterwards, with the loss only of her mizen-mast.

On the 11th of October Lord Howe appeared with a large fleet, which the
enemy endeavoured to avoid.  After seeing the troop-ships which he had
convoyed into the harbour, he went in search of the enemy's fleet,
which, after a short engagement, hauled their wind and stood off to the

In the bomb-proof vessels above described we recognise the idea of our
present floating batteries; while the result of their attack on
Gibraltar might have shown our naval commanders in the Crimean war the
slight hope there was of any advantage being gained by their attack on
the batteries of Sebastopol.

The great object of the French was to capture the island of Jamaica.
For this purpose, the Comte de Grasse, who commanded their fleet in the
West Indies, was using every exertion to equip his fleet and to form a
junction with the Spaniards.  Sir George Rodney, with Sir Samuel Hood
and Admiral Drake and Commodore Affleck under him, were on the look-out
to prevent them.  At length, on the 8th of April, while the English
fleet was at anchor at Saint Lucia, Captain Byron, in the _Andromache_
frigate, communicated to the admiral by signal that the enemy's fleet,
with a large convoy, were seen coming out of Fort Royal Bay, and
standing to the north-west.  Sir George instantly made the signal to
weigh, and on the morning of the 9th the enemy were seen forming a line
of battle to windward, and standing over towards Guadaloupe.  For some
time the British fleet was becalmed, but as the breeze reached the van
division, commanded by Sir Samuel Hood, he stood on and closed with the
enemy's centre.  At nine o'clock the action commenced, and was
maintained with determined bravery for upwards of an hour by this
division, the _Barfleur_ having generally three ships firing upon her at
once.  At length the leading ships of the centre got the breeze, and
were enabled to come up to the assistance of the van.  These were soon
after followed by the _Formidable, Bake_, and _Namur_.  The action raged
it for some time, much gallantry being displayed by the captain of a
French 74-gun ship, who, backing his main-topsail, steadily received and
returned the fire of these three ships in succession.  The Comte de
Grasse, seeing the remainder of the British fleet coming up, withdrew
out of fire, and by the 11th his fleet was nearly hull down.  All hopes
of being able to keep up with them appeared to be at an end, when two
French ships, which had been much damaged, were perceived about noon to
leeward of their fleet.  Chase was instantly made by the English, when
the Comte de Grasse bore down to their relief.  Sir George Rodney on
this recalled the ships in chase, and formed a close line of battle,
carrying sail to windward all night.  At dawn of the 12th, a French ship
of the line, the _Zele_, 74 guns, was seen much disabled, and towed by a
frigate.  The Comte de Grasse, on perceiving that she must be taken,
bore up with his whole fleet for her protection.  He could now no longer
avoid an engagement.  At half-past seven Rear-Admiral Drake's division,
which led, commenced the action, which soon became general from van to
rear.  Captain Gardner, in the _Duke_, having unsuccessfully attempted
to force the enemy's line, in consequence of the loss of his
main-topmast, Sir George Rodney, in the _Formidable_, supported by the
_Namur_ and _Canada_, broke through their line, about three ships from
the _Ville de Paris_, and was followed by the ships in his rear, when he
wore and doubled upon the enemy.  By this manoeuvre the French line was
broken and thrown into the utmost confusion; their van bore away, and
endeavoured to re-form to leeward, but this, hardly pressed as they
were, they were unable to accomplish.  Sir Samuel Hood's division, which
had been becalmed the greater part of the forenoon, now coming up,
completed the victory.  Several of the French ships struck.  Captain
Cornwallis, to whom the _Hector_ had yielded, left his prize, and made
sail after the French admiral in the _Ville de Paris_.  The
well-directed fire of the _Canada_ so much annoyed her, and some other
ships approaching, made it impossible for her to escape; but the Comte
de Grasse seemed determined to sink rather than yield to anything under
a flag.  At length Sir Samuel Hood came up in the _Barfleur_, and poured
in a tremendous and destructive fire.  The brave Frenchman maintained
the action for a quarter-of-an-hour longer, when finding further
resistance vain, and that he was deserted by his second, hauled down his
flag.  The enemy's fleet continued going off before the wind in small
detached squadrons and single ships, pursued by the British.  On this,
Sir George made the signal to bring to, in order to collect his fleet
and secure the prizes.  Some of the ships, however, not observing the
signal, did not return till the next day.  Before the prisoners could be
shifted from the _Caesar_, she caught fire and blew up, an English
lieutenant and 50 men belonging to the _Centaur_, together with 400
Frenchmen, perishing.

The French are supposed to have lost 3000 men killed, and double that
number wounded, for, besides the ships' crews, the fleet had on board
5500 troops.  It was said that at the time the _Ville de Paris_ struck
there were but three men left alive and unhurt on the upper deck, and
that the Comte de Grasse was one of the three.

A story is told of a female sailor who fought in the action.  While the
battle was raging, one of the crew of a gun being wounded and sent
below, a woman took his place.  After the action she was brought before
the admiral, when it was discovered that she was the sailor's wife, and
had been concealed on board.  She declared that she thought it her duty
to supply her husband's place, and fight the French.  Rodney threatened
her for a breach of the rules, but privately sent her a purse of ten

A few days afterwards the admiral detached Sir Samuel Hood in chase of
the crippled French ships, when two more were captured in the same
gallant way by Captain Goodall of the _Valiant_.  A frigate of 32 guns
and a sloop of 16 were also taken.

For this action Sir George Rodney was created a peer of Great Britain;
Sir Samuel Hood a peer of Ireland; and Admiral Drake and Commodore
Affleck were made baronets.

These actions must be taken merely as examples of what the navy was
about at that time.

Towards the end of 1782, negotiations for a general peace were set on
foot, and it was finally concluded early in the following year.


A.D. 1802.

We will briefly run over a few events which occurred previous to the
breaking out of the first revolutionary war.

On May the 29th, 1782, the _Royal George_, of 100 guns, being heeled
over at Spithead to repair a pipe which led under water, the lower-deck
guns having been run out, the water rushed with such rapidity in at the
port-holes that she filled and sank--Rear-Admiral Kempenfeldt, with more
than half his officers, and four hundred persons, perishing, many of
them the wives and children of the seamen and marines on board.

We are apt to consider that the uniform of the navy differed greatly
from the army; but in an order dated the 11th of January, 1783,
admirals, vice-admirals, and rear-admirals were directed to wear coats
very similar to those worn by generals, lieutenant-generals, and
major-generals respectively, in the army, with the exception of the
crown and anchor buttons.

In the month of June, 1785, his Royal Highness Prince William Henry, who
had now served his time as a midshipman, passed his examination, and was
appointed third lieutenant of the _Hebe_ frigate, of 40 guns.

In 1785 a debate arose in the House of Commons on the propriety of
repairing the old 64-gun ships, and also suffering ships of war to
remain in ordinary with the copper on their bottoms.  Captain Macbride
thought that the 64-gun ships should be either broken up or sold, and
recommended in future none less than seventy-fours to be built for the
line of battle.  He also pointed out the mischievous effects that might
ensue in suffering ships to be laid up with their copper on, alleging
that the copper would in time corrode the bolts; in consequence of which
the ships' bottoms might drop out.  He had examined a coppered ship
under repair, and found the bolts corroded and eaten away.  Ships had,
however, before this time, been fastened with copper bolts, and probably
those seen by Captain Macbride were either iron bolts cased only with
copper or composition.

The supplies granted by Parliament for the sea-service for the year 1789
amounted to 2,328,570 pounds.

On the 24th of November, 1787, the _Bounty_, of 215 tons, commanded by
Lieutenant William Bligh, sailed from Spithead, for the Pacific Ocean,
to obtain a supply of the bread-fruit tree.  On the 28th of April, 1789,
some of his officers and crew mutinied, and took possession of the ship,
casting the commander and those who remained firm to him adrift in an
open boat.  The hardihood and judgment he displayed in conducting his
boat's crew across the Pacific to Batavia are well known.

Many useful contrivances have been invented by inferior officers of the
navy.  Among others, Mr Hill, the carpenter of the _Active_, invented a
machine for drawing bolts out of ships' sides.  He also invented a
method for stopping shot-holes.

In 1791 some experiments were made on board a ship in Portsmouth
Harbour, when he stopped a shot-hole on the outside of the ship, four
feet under water, in the space of one minute, without the assistance of
any person out of the vessel.  He stopped in the same manner a space in
the ship's side, four feet under water, of four feet by four inches, in
two minutes and a-half.  During the time of effectually curing both
leaks, the ship made only ten inches water in the well.

He also invented a wheel to work the chain-pump, which was much safer
and less liable to get out of order than that before in use.

The French Revolution broke out in 1792.  On the 21st of the following
January, the French beheaded their king, Louis the Sixteenth; in
consequence of which the French ambassador at the court of London was
ordered to quit England.  A short time before this the new Republic had
exhibited its hostile spirit against England, and on the 2nd of January
a shot had been fired from one of the batteries near Brest on the
British 16-gun brig-sloop _Childers_.  Though a 48-pounder shot struck
her, no one was hurt.

On the 1st of February the National Convention declared war against
Great Britain and the United Netherlands.

England at this time possessed nominally 135 ships of war in commission,
and 169 in ordinary or under repair; 21 building or ordering to be
built, and 86 harbour-ships; making in all 411 ships of 402,555 tons.
Of these there was one of 100 guns, 12-pounders, of 2091 tons, in
commission; two of 100 guns, 18-pounders, under repair; and two of 100
guns, 12-pounders, under repair.  Of second-rates there were four 98-gun
ships in commission, and eleven under repair; of 90-gun ships there was
one under repair.  Of two-deckers third-rate there was one 80-gun ship
in commission and one under repair.  Of seventy-fours there were 19 in
commission and 61 under repair.  Of sixty-fours there were only two in
commission and 30 under repair, making a total of 113 line-of-battle
ships.  There were 75 frigates either in commission or under repair; but
23 of these carried 28 guns only.  Of the most useless class of ships in
the service, the 24 and 20 gun post-ships, there were 12 in commission
or under repair.  Of 18-gun ship-sloops and gun brigs there were
altogether 40.  Besides these there were 25 bomb fire-ships and cutters,
either in commission or under repair, making a total of 304 vessels,
exclusive of those building; but of these probably some were
unseaworthy, and of those building or ordered to be built, many were not
in a state to be launched for two or more years.  However, in
consequence of the expected rupture between Spain and Russia, in the
previous two or three years upwards of 60 line-of-battle ships were in a
condition speedily to go to sea, while the dockyards were well-stocked
with imperishable stores.  Thus, in a few weeks, 200 cruisers were
commissioned and fit for use.

At that time we had admirals 17, vice-admirals 19, rear-admirals 19,
post-captains 446, commanders 136, lieutenants 1417, and masters 197.
The number of seamen and marines, including officers of all ranks, voted
by Parliament for the service of the current year, was 45,000.

Portugal and Naples, who joined England, had the first six ships of the
line and four frigates, and the latter four 74-gun ships.

The Spanish navy amounted to 204 vessels, 76 of which were of the line,
carrying from 112 to 60 guns.

The Dutch navy at this time, though amounting nominally to 119 vessels,
from a 74-gun ship to the smallest armed cutter, was of little use to
England, a large number of the ships lying rotting in the different
harbours, and those able to put to sea being of comparatively small
size, and carrying but light guns.

The navy of France amounted to 250 vessels, of which 82 were of the
line, nearly three-fourths in a serviceable state; and immediately on
the outbreak of war, 71 new ships were laid down, including 25 of the
line, and orders given to cast 400 brass 36-pounder carronades, the
first guns of the kind employed by the French.  One of the former was to
mount 130 guns, and several old small-class seventy-fours were cut-down
and converted into the most formidable frigates that had hitherto been

Such was the French navy, with which the fleet of England was about to
contend, not only for the dominion of the seas, but to protect the
hearths and homes of the people from foreign invasion.  Such, from the
aggressive character of the French people, was the danger, it was soon
seen, most to be apprehended.  Never had the royal dockyards been so
busy.  Squadrons had to be sent off to reinforce stations at a distance
from home, and to protect our colonies.  Some months, therefore, elapsed
before a fleet could be got ready to cope with the enemy.  As soon as
the ships could be fitted out, they were placed under the command of
Admiral Lord Howe, who, on the 24th of July, set sail from Spithead with
15 ships of the line and a few frigates and sloops.  For some weeks he
cruised about in search of the French fleet, being joined in the
meantime by more ships, till he had upwards of 30 under his command.
He, however, was compelled to return to Spithead without meeting them.

In the meantime Lord Hood had proceeded to the Mediterranean and taken
possession of Toulon.  Before, however, we describe the events which
took place there, we will follow Lord Howe, who, on the following May,
received information that a valuable French convoy was expected from the
West Indies, and guessing that the enemy's fleet would sail out for
their protection, put to sea in the hopes of intercepting them.  His
force now consisted of 26 sail of the line and 13 frigates and sloops.
On the morning of the 28th, being about 140 leagues west of Ushant, the
enemy were discovered at some distance to windward.  On their perceiving
the British fleet, they bore down in loose order, but soon after hauled
again to the wind, and began to form in order of battle.  Several of the
British ships, at a considerable distance to windward of the fleet,
approached the enemy's rear.  Lord Howe then made the signal for a
general chase, and to engage the enemy.  Rear-Admiral Pasley, of the
_Bellerophon_, towards the close of the day, got up with the rear-ship
of the enemy's line, a three-decker, on which he commenced a firm and
resolute attack, supported occasionally by the ships in his division.
The _Bellerophon_, being soon disabled, fell to leeward.  The
_Audacious_ came up just at that time, and continued to engage the same
ship for two hours without intermission, when the enemy's mizen-mast
fell overboard, her lower yards and main-topsail yards shot away, and
otherwise much shattered.  The _Audacious_, however, having her rigging
and sails cut to pieces, and the ship being for some time unmanageable,
was unable to follow the Frenchman, who put before the wind and escaped.
The night being dark, Captain Parker lost sight of the fleet, and being
in too disabled a state to rejoin, was compelled to bear away for the
channel.  The next day a partial engagement took place between the two
hostile fleets, which resulted in the British obtaining the

On the morning of the 1st of June, both fleets being drawn up in order
of battle, at half-past seven Lord Howe made the signal for both fleets
to bear up, and for each ship to engage her opponent in the enemy's
line.  In a short time a tremendous cannonade commenced from van to
rear, which raged with unceasing fury for about an hour.  The enemy's
line having been forced through in many places, they began to give way,
and their admiral, vigorously attacked by the _Queen Charlotte_, bore
up, and was followed by all those of his ships that were able to carry
sail, leaving the rest, which were dismasted and crippled, at the mercy
of their enemies.  Upon the clearing up of the smoke, eight or ten
French ships were seen, some totally dismasted and others with only one
mast standing, endeavouring to make off under their sprit-sails.  Seven
of these were taken possession of; one, _Le Vengeur_, sank before the
whole of her crew could be taken out, not more than 280 being saved.  A
distant and irregular firing was continued at intervals between the
fugitive and British ships till about four in the afternoon, when the
French admiral, having collected most of his remaining ships, steered
off to the eastward.  The _Queen Charlotte_ had lost both her topmasts,
the _Marlborough_ and _Defence_ were wholly dismasted, and many of the
other ships materially damaged.  Earl Howe, therefore, brought to, in
order to secure the prizes and collect his ships before dark.  The loss
sustained by the British in this action amounted to 281 killed and 788
wounded.  Among the first was Captain James Montague of the _Montague_,
while three admirals and four captains were severely wounded.  The
killed on board the enemy's ships that were captured amounted to 690,
and 580 wounded, exclusive of 320 lost in _Le Vengeur_ when she sank,
the greater number of whom were wounded.

So important was this action considered, that on the return of the fleet
to Spithead, the king himself came down to Portsmouth and personally
presented Lord Howe with a sword; while various honours were bestowed
upon the principal officers engaged, gold medals being struck to
commemorate the glorious victory of the 1st of June; a liberal
subscription being opened likewise for the relief of the wounded
officers, seamen, and marines, and also the widows and children of those
who fell in the action.

This victory early in the war was of the greatest consequence, as it
raised the spirits and confidence of the British, while it
proportionably depressed the enemy, and proved the prelude of that
succession of victories which at length crushed the power of France and
secured the safety of England.

After the English had held Toulon for some time, in consequence of the
large force of republicans collected round the city, it was found
impossible to retain it.  Several thousand French royalists having been
embarked, it was resolved to destroy the arsenal and ships of war.  This
dangerous task was undertaken by Sir Sidney Smith, having under his
command three English and three Spanish gunboats and a tender, with the
_Vulcan_ fire-ship.  He proceeded into the harbour at dark; the
fire-ship was first placed across the outer men-of-war in such a
position that she was certain to do effectual execution.  Scarcely had
the signal been made for setting the trains on fire, than the flames
rose in all directions; a magazine, filled with pitch, tar, tallow, oil,
and hemp, was quickly in a blaze; while the guns of the fire-ship went
off in the direction the enemy were approaching.  The destruction would
have been more complete had not the Spaniards set fire to two ships
laden with powder, which they had been directed to sink; on board one of
them, the _Isis_ frigate, there were some thousand barrels.  In a few
moments the explosion took place; the air was filled with masses of
burning timber, which fell in all directions, and two of the British
boats were destroyed.  The crew of one was taken up, but in the other,
Lieutenant Young, with three men, perished, and many were badly wounded.

Notwithstanding this, Sir Sidney and his brave companions destroyed ten
of the enemy's ships of the line in the arsenal, with the mast-house,
the great storehouse and other buildings.

After this, Lord Hood proceeded to Hieres Bay, leaving a small squadron
to cruise before Toulon.  Unfortunately, the _Moselle_, Captain Bennet,
on her return from Gibraltar, passed through them, and not knowing that
the place was evacuated, entered the harbour and was captured.

Some time after this, Captain Samuel Hood, in the _Juno_ frigate of 32
guns, who had been sent to Malta for supernumeraries for the fleet--
having been detained by a succession of foul winds--also ignorant of
what had occurred, at ten in the evening stood into the outer road; not
perceiving the fleet at anchor there, and concluding that they had taken
shelter within the new harbour from a strong easterly gale which had
lately been blowing, steered for it.  Having no pilot on board, two
midshipmen were stationed at each cathead to look out.  Soon after,
several lights were seen, which were supposed to be those of the fleet.
The _Juno_ accordingly stood on under her topsails till she made out a
brig which lay off Point Grandtour, when the captain, finding that he
could not weather her, set more sail.  The brig, as he approached,
hailed; but no one understood what was said.  Captain Hood, in reply,
gave the name and nation of his ship, upon which the people on board the
brig shouted "Viva!" and soon after some one cried out "Luff."  The
_Juno's_ helm on this was put a-lee, but before the ship came head to
wind, she took the ground.  Directly afterwards, a boat was observed to
pull from the brig towards the town, but even then her object was not
suspected.  Happily, while the _Juno's_ people were still on the yards,
a sudden flaw of wind taking the ship, drove her astern.  To help her
off, the driver and mizen-staysail were hoisted, and directly the ship
lost her way, an anchor was let go, but she still touched the ground
abaft.  Accordingly, to get her off, the launch and cutter were ordered
to carry out a kedge-anchor ahead.  While the boats were still away, a
boat from the shore came alongside, out of which several officers
hurried on board.  One of them informed Captain Hood that it was the
commanding officer's orders that the ship should go into another branch
of the harbour to perform ten days' quarantine.  From some of the
remarks now made, suspicions were aroused, and they were confirmed when,
on a midshipman exclaiming, "Why, those are the national cockades," the
captain, looking at the Frenchmen's hats, discovered by the light of the
moon the tricolours of the republicans.  The captain again asking where
Lord Hood's squadron lay, one of the French officers replied, "Soyez
tranquilles.  Les Anglais sont des braves gens; nous les traiterons
bien.  L'Amiral Anglais est sorti il y a quelque temps."

"Be calm.  The English are brave people; we will treat them well.  The
English admiral sailed some time ago."

It may easily be conceived what were Captain Hood's feelings on hearing
this.  The alarming intelligence ran through the ship; some of the
officers hurried aft to inquire if it were true.  Happily, at this
moment a flaw of wind came down the harbour, when Mr Welby, the third
lieutenant, said to Captain Hood, "I believe, sir, that we shall be able
to fetch out if we can get under sail."  Captain Hood at once determined
to try what could be done, and with great presence of mind immediately
ordered the crew to their respective stations, and directed that the
Frenchmen should be taken below.  They at first began to bluster, but
the marines appearing with their half-pikes, soon forced them down
below.  Such was the alacrity of the officers and crew, that in less
than three minutes every sail in the ship was set, and the yards braced
for casting.  The cable, being hove short, was cut, the head sails
filled, and the ship glided forward down the harbour.  At the same time,
her own boats and that of the Frenchmen were cut adrift, that they might
not impede her progress.  A favourable flaw of wind now coming, she got
good way.  The instant the brig saw the _Juno_ under sail, she and one
of the forts began to fire on her, and presently all the other forts, as
their guns could be brought to bear, opened fire.  Still the frigate
stood undauntedly on; as she approached Cape Serpet, it was feared that
she would not be able to weather it without making a tack, but the wind
shifting so as to admit her lying up two points, she scraped clear of
the cape, under a heavy fire from the batteries.  As soon as Captain
Hood was able to keep the ship away, he opened a brisk fire on the
enemy, which he kept up till half-past twelve, when, being out of shot,
he ceased firing.

Notwithstanding the heavy cannonade the _Juno_ had passed through, not a
man on board her was hurt; and though two 36-pound shot had struck her,
no material damage had been inflicted, nor had her rigging and sails
suffered much injury.  Two days afterwards the _Juno_ joined Lord Hood's
fleet in the Bay of Hieres.  The coolness and presence of mind which
have been so often exhibited by British naval officers was signally
displayed on this occasion; and when we recollect that the _Juno_ was
actually within the enemy's port, full of armed vessels, with formidable
batteries on either side of her, we must acknowledge that the feat she
accomplished is unsurpassed in naval annals.

We must pass over the numerous gallant actions between small squadrons
and single ships.  Great difficulties were experienced at this time in
manning the navy; even the press-gangs failed to obtain a sufficient
number of men.  An Act was passed, therefore, on the 15th of March,
1795, for raising 10,000 men in the several counties of England, and on
the 16th of April another was passed for procuring a supply from the
several ports of Great Britain; and the more effectually to enforce the
Act, an embargo was laid on all British shipping until the quota of men
was raised.  To encourage men to come forward, enormous bounties were
offered by many of the counties and sea-ports, sometimes exceeding 30
pounds for each able seaman.  An Act was also passed to enable those who
came forward voluntarily to allot part of their pay to the maintenance
of their wives and families.  Seamen also were allowed to forward
letters home on the payment only of a penny; half-pay officers and
widows of officers were enabled to obtain their pay or pensions free of

Early in January of the next year Sir Sidney Smith, while in command of
the _Diamond_ frigate, performed one of those exploits which made his
name notorious.  While attached to the squadron of Sir John Borlase
Warren, he stood close into Brest, where he ascertained that the French
fleet were at sea.  As he was standing off, a corvette which was coming
out of the harbour hove to and made a signal, which not being answered
by the _Diamond_, she hauled her wind and worked in.  Soon after this
Sir Sidney passed within hail of a line-of-battle ship at anchor.  She
appeared to have no upper-deck guns mounted, and to be very leaky.  He
asked her commander in French if she wanted any assistance; to which he
answered, "No, that he had been dismasted in a heavy gale, and had
parted with the French fleet three days ago."  Some other conversation
passed, after which, Sir Sidney crowded sail and stood out to sea.  So
completely had he disguised his ship, that the Frenchman had not the
slightest suspicion of her being an English man-of-war.

The following year, however, being on a cruise off Havre-de-Grace, he
discovered a lugger in the outer road.  Having taken her with the boats
of his squadron, he attempted to tow her off, but the flood-tide setting
strong in, he was compelled to anchor.  In the night the cable either
parted or was cut by one of the prisoners, when the lugger, driving a
considerable way up the Seine, was attacked by several gunboats and
other armed vessels; and Sir Sidney, after making a gallant resistance,
was compelled to surrender.  He was carried to Paris, and for long shut
up in the Temple; but, with the aid of friends, he effected his escape
from prison, and reaching Havre-de-Grace, put off in an open boat, when
he was picked up by the _Argo_ frigate, and landed safe in Portsmouth on
the 5th of March, 1798.

On the 1st of June, 1795, an alteration was made in the uniform of naval
officers, which continued for many years afterwards.  Those who can
remember it can scarcely fail to consider it the most becoming worn at
any time in the service.  The rank of officers was now distinguished by
epaulettes.  An admiral wore two gold epaulettes, with three silver
stars on each; a vice-admiral had two stars, and a rear-admiral one; a
post-captain of above three years standing wore two gold epaulettes,
under three years, one on the right shoulder, a master and commander,
one on the left shoulder, captains wore blue lapels and cuffs, with lace
as before, but on the undress coat neither lace nor embroidery.

On the 4th of June his majesty appointed seven superannuated or disabled
lieutenants of the navy to be poor knights of Windsor.  This institution
was founded by Samuel Travers, who, in 1724, left a residuary estate in
trust for building or buying a house for their reception near the castle
of Windsor, bequeathing to each knight 60 pounds per annum, 26 pounds of
which is to be applied only for keeping them a constant table.  The
first knight was William Hogarth, whose commission bore the date of
1757, so that he had been nearly forty years a lieutenant; while the
next three had been thirty years lieutenants.

In the same year the masters in the navy received an increase of
half-pay, and their position was otherwise improved.

Towards the end of the year an improved system of telegraph, the
invention of Lord George Murray, was introduced on several heights
leading from the coast to London.

Post-captains were appointed as governors to the royal hospitals of
Haslar and Plymouth, and lieutenants to those of Deal and Great

One of the most gallant actions of the war was fought at the
commencement of this year in the West Indies.  The _Blanche_, a 32-gun
12-pounder frigate, commanded by Captain Robert Faulkner, was cruising
in the neighbourhood of Guadaloupe, when she chased a French armed
schooner, under a fort within a bay in the island of Desirade.  The
schooner brought up with springs to her cables; but, notwithstanding the
fire of the fort and some troops on shore, Captain Faulkner cut the
schooner out with his boats, and triumphantly carried her off.  Manning
his prize, he sent her away to an English port, and was next day joined
by the _Quebec_ frigate, which, however, parted company.  On the 4th at
daybreak Captain Faulkner discovered the French 32-gun frigate _Pique_,
lying at anchor just outside the harbour of Pointe-a-Petre in
Guadaloupe.  Finding the French frigate, however, did not appear
inclined to come out from under the protection of the batteries, the
_Blanche_ made sail towards a schooner, which she captured and took in
tow.  She then stood over for Dominico with her prize.  Late in the
evening, however, the French frigate was seen about two leagues astern,
upon which, Captain Faulkner, casting off the schooner, tacked and made
sail to meet her.  At a quarter-past twelve the _Blanche_ tacked and
came up with her.  When within musket-shot the enemy wore; Captain
Faulkner seeing his intention was to rake him, wore also, when the two
frigates closely engaged broadside to broadside.  A fierce action now
ensued for an hour and a-half, when, as the _Blanche_, shooting ahead,
was in the act of luffing up to rake the _Pique_, her main and
mizen-masts fell over the side.  Directly after this, the _Pique_
running foul of the _Blanche_ on her larboard quarter, the French made
several attempts to board.  They were, however, gallantly repulsed by
the British crew, and the larboard quarter-deck guns and such of those
on the main-deck as could be brought to bear, were fired into the
_Pique's_ starboard bow, she answering in return with musketry from her
tops, as also from some of her quarter-deck guns, which had been run in
amidships fore and aft.  The bowsprit of the _Pique_ passing over the
starboard-quarter of the _Blanche_, Captain Faulkner, aided by his
second lieutenant and two others of his crew, was in the act of lashing
the _Pique's_ bowsprit to her capstern, when he was shot by a
musket-ball through the heart.  Soon after this the lashings broke
loose, when the _Pique_, as she was crossing the stern of the _Blanche_,
which began to pay off for want of after-sail, again fell on board on
the starboard-quarter, her hawser having just before been got on deck,
the _Pique's_ bowsprit was lashed to the stump of the _Blanche's_
main-mast.  The first lieutenant, Mr Frederick Watkins, now took
command, and kept the _Blanche_ before the wind, towing her opponent,
while a hot fire was kept up by the British marines on the French seamen
who attempted to cut away the second lashing.  This was returned from
the forecastle and tops of the _Pique_, as well as from the latter's
quarter-deck guns pointed forward.  The _Blanche_ having no stern-ports
on the main-deck could only return the fire by two quarter-deck
6-pounders.  Lieutenant Watkins accordingly resolved to venture on the
somewhat hazardous experiment of blowing away part of the stern to allow
a couple of guns to be run out.  The firemen were called with their
buckets ready to extinguish the flames should they burst out, and two
12-pounders being pointed astern in the cabin, soon made a clear breach,
through which a tremendous fire was opened on the _Pique's_ decks.  The
French frigate had already lost her fore and mizen-mast, and about three
hours and a quarter after midnight, her main-mast fell over the side.
Thus the _Blanche_ continued towing along her antagonist, which,
notwithstanding the raking fire to which she was exposed, held out two
hours longer; when at length some of the French seamen who had climbed
on to the bowsprit cried out that they had struck.  Neither of the
frigates being able to put a boat in the water, Mr David Milne, the
second lieutenant, and ten men, endeavoured to gain the prize by means
of a hawser still attached to her.  Their weight, however, bringing it
down, they were compelled to swim on board.  When the _Blanche_
commenced the action, she had but 198 men and boys on board; of these,
besides her gallant commander, she lost a midshipman, 5 seamen, and I
marine killed, and I midshipman, 4 petty officers, and 12 seamen, and 4
marines wounded.  The _Pique_ had 279 men on board, of whom she lost 76
officers and men killed and 110 wounded, her brave captain, who soon
afterwards died from his hurts, being among the number.  The _Blanche_
measured 710 tons and the _Pique_ 906, while the weight of her guns was
slightly in excess of that of the victor.  The _Pique_ was added to the
British Navy, and Lieutenants Watkins and Milne were deservedly
promoted.  About a quarter-of-an-hour after the action had ceased, just
after daylight, a 64-gun ship, the _Veteran_, was seen approaching, and
the French officers afterwards refused to sign the usual head-money
certificate unless the _Veteran_ was named as one of their captors,
though they afterwards withdrew their objections, which were absurd,
considering that though she had seen the flashes of their guns, she had
not caught sight of the combatants until the _Pique_ was in possession
of her captors.

The change which had some time before been proposed in the armament of
British ships of war had now taken place, though at first, as has been
the case with other improvements, carronades were objected to on various
grounds, there were now few ships in the navy without them.  A whole
class of ships, carrying 44 guns, were armed on the main-deck with
32-pounder carronades, instead of the long 6-pounders which they would
otherwise have carried.  A considerable increase was also made in the
size of ships.  The largest launched at this date, the _Ville de Paris_,
to carry 110 guns, was somewhat smaller, however, than the French 80-gun
ships.  Fourteen ships of the line had been commissioned, and ten had
been purchased from the East India Company and armed with 54 guns, but,
though well fitted for merchantmen, were unsuitable for men-of-war.
With one of them, however, one of the most gallant actions on record was
fought, about the middle of this year, 1796.  The _Glatton_, one of the
purchased Indiamen, of 1256 tons, commanded by Captain Henry Trollope,
and fitted on the main-deck with 28 carronades, 68-pounders, the rest of
her guns being 32-pounders, making altogether 54 guns; but, as the ports
were too small to allow the larger guns to traverse properly, and she
had no bow or stern chasers, they could only be pointed right abeam.
Having been appointed to reinforce the North Sea Fleet, under Admiral
Duncan, she proceeded from Sheerness to Yarmouth Roads, whence, on the
14th of July, she was directed to sail to join a squadron of two sail of
the line and some frigates, under the command of Captain Savage, of the
_Albion_ 64, cruising off the Texel.  At one in the afternoon of the
16th, being about four or five leagues from Helvaetsluis, Captain
Trollope discovered a squadron of ships of war, consisting of six large
frigates, a brig, and a cutter.  One of these, as far as could be made
out, mounted 50 guns, two 36, and the other three 28.  He was soon
convinced, from the way in which they manoeuvred, and from not answering
the private signal, that they were enemies.  Not intimidated, however,
by their vast superiority, he at once cleared for action, and bore down
resolutely to attack them.  The strangers on this shortened sail,
backing their mizen-topsails, in order to keep their stations.  At 10
p.m. Captain Trollope having got alongside of the third ship in the
enemy's line, hailed her, and finding that she was French, ordered her
commander to strike his colours.  Instead of doing so, he immediately
fired a broadside, on which the _Glatton_ poured into her antagonist, at
a distance of thirty yards, such a shower of shot as perhaps no ship had
ever before received.  Her crew being insufficient to man her guns on
both sides, the allotment to each gun was divided into gangs.  One of
these having loaded and run out the gun, left the most experienced hands
to point and fire it, while they ran across and loaded and ran out the
gun on the opposite side.  The two headmost French ships then tacked,
one placing herself alongside to windward, and the other on the
_Glatton's_ bow, while the other ships engaged her on her lee-quarter
and stern.  A fierce cannonade was kept up, the _Glatton_ engaging on
both sides so near, that her yard-arms were nearly touching those of the
enemy; the shrieks and cries which arose from them showing the terrible
effect of the _Glatton's_ shot--though the French commodore, at all
events, exhibited no want of courage in the way he fought his ship.
Close to leeward was the Brill shoal, on which the van-ship of the
French, now tacking, endeavoured to drive the _Glatton_.  The French
commodore, with whom Captain Trollope had at first engaged, was still on
his lee bow, when the pilot exclaimed, that unless the _Glatton_ tacked
she would be on the Brill.  "When the Frenchman strikes the ground, do
you put the helm a-lee," was the answer.  Directly afterwards the
commodore tacked, when, while he was in stays, the _Glatton_ poured in a
heavy raking fire, and then endeavoured to come about, but so damaged
was she in her sails and rigging, that it was not without difficulty she
could do so.  Notwithstanding that her topmasts and yards were wounded,
her crew, when ordered to shorten sail, flew aloft with alacrity,
executing their task, in spite of the shot flying round them from the
nearest of the Frenchmen able to continue the action.  During this
interval the _Glatton's_ fire had ceased, and one of the French ships
stood towards her, in the hopes, probably, of making her their prize,
but the British crew hurrying to their guns, soon undeceived them, and
compelled their still remaining antagonists to follow their consorts.
In attempting to wear after them, Captain Trollope found his masts,
rigging, and sails so much injured that all his efforts were
ineffectual, or his gallantry would probably have been rewarded by a
complete victory.  The remainder of the night was spent in strengthening
masts and yards, and in bending fresh sails, and by seven o'clock the
next morning the ship was in a fit state to renew the action.  The enemy
were at this time seen steering for Flushing; Captain Trollope continued
to follow them till nine o'clock, when, as he had no hopes of being
joined by any other ships, and the wind was blowing fresh on shore, he
was compelled to haul off and steer for Yarmouth Roads, where he arrived
on the 21st.  It was afterwards discovered that the French ships had
all, more or less, suffered, some of those that had taken the chief part
in the action being tremendously knocked about, their decks being ripped
up by the _Glatton's_ shot; one of them, indeed, sank on reaching
Flushing harbour.  The largest, with which the _Glutton_ was chiefly
engaged, was supposed to be the _Brutus_, armed with 46 24-pounders on
the main-deck, and several 36-pounders on the quarter-deck and
forecastle, while she was fully 300 tons larger than the _Glatton_.
Though Captain Trollope might have relied on the weight of metal his
ship carried, yet his courage and decision in sailing into the midst of
six powerfully-armed opponents is worthy of all admiration, and justly
entitled him to the honour of knighthood, which was conferred on him
soon afterwards by the king, while the merchants of London presented him
with a handsome piece of plate, to show their appreciation of his

In September of this year, the _Amphion_ frigate, of 32 guns, commanded
by Captain Pellew, lay refitting at Plymouth.  Her captain and two other
officers were in the cabin at dinner, when a rumbling noise was heard.
The captain, followed by his lieutenant, rushed into the
quarter-gallery--the instant afterwards the ship blew up; the greater
number of persons on board, amounting to nearly 300, perished, they and
forty others only escaping with their lives, many of them being severely
injured.  Great as was the explosion, it had but a trifling effect on
the ships near her.  Her masts (excepting the mizen-mast) were shivered
to pieces and forced out of the ship; four of her main-deck guns were
cast upon the deck of the hulk alongside which she lay; and several
bodies, pieces of the wreck, etcetera, were thrown as high as her
main-topgallant mast-head.

Another gallant action was fought on the 13th of October by the
_Terpsichore_ frigate, of 32 guns and 215 men, commanded by Captain
Richard Bowen.  The _Terpsichore_ having left thirty men at the
hospital, the greater number being still dangerously ill on board, was
cruising off Carthagena, when at daylight Captain Bowen discovered a
large frigate to windward, apparently in chase of him.  Though so near
an enemy's port, that even in the event of a victory he could scarcely
hope to carry off his prize, trusting to his well-tried crew, he
determined to meet the foe.  At half-past nine the stranger came within
hail, and hauled up on the _Terpsichore's_ weather-beam.  A fierce
action now ensued, and continued on both sides for an hour and twenty
minutes, when the enemy's fire began to slacken, and she attempted to
make off; but the superior skill of Captain Bowen frustrated the
attempt, and in less than twenty minutes compelled her to surrender.
When taken possession of she proved to be the _Mahonesa_, a Spanish
frigate of 36 guns, besides cohorns and snivels, manned with a crew of
275 men.  She was completely disabled, her main-deck guns were rendered
entirely useless, the booms having fallen down upon them, while her
standing and running rigging was cut to pieces, she having also lost
thirty men killed and as many more wounded.  The _Terpsichore_ had only
the boatswain and three seamen wounded.  Captain Bowen spoke of the
gallant way in which the Spanish captain, Don Thomas Ayaldi, had fought
his ship, having held out as long as he had the slightest prospect of
victory.  Notwithstanding her crippled condition, Captain Bowen
succeeded in carrying his prize to Lisbon, but she was considered too
much battered to be worth the cost of a thorough repair.

Soon afterwards, Captain Bowen captured a French 36-gun frigate, _La
Vestale_, all her masts and her bowsprit being knocked away, and a large
proportion of her crew killed and wounded.  Being close to the shoals
that lie between Cape Trafalgar and Cadiz, the prize, with the
_Terpsichore's_ master, one midshipman, and seven seamen, it having been
impossible to remove the French crew, drifted towards the shore, where
the master at length brought her up, and during the darkness the
_Terpsichore_ lost sight of her prize.  While attempting to tow her off
the next day, the towrope got foul of a rock and was cut.  Soon after
this the Frenchmen rose on the prize-crew and again anchored close
inshore.  The next morning, when Captain Bowen stood in to look for her,
he had the mortification to see her standing in to Cadiz, some Spanish
boats having come off and taken possession of her.  _La Vestale_ was,
however, captured in the year 1799 by the gallant Captain Cunningham, of
the _Clyde_.

Passing over many interesting events, we come to one which cannot be
omitted in the history of the British Navy.  English seamen had long
undoubtedly been subjected to much ill-treatment.  A large proportion of
a ship's company consisted of pressed men, compelled to serve against
their will.  They were often harshly treated by their officers; they
were badly fed, and but poorly paid, and often punished; while their
necessaries were embezzled, and they were cheated in a variety of ways.
Towards the end of February, 1797, while Lord Howe was on shore, several
petitions were sent up from the seamen at Portsmouth, asking for an
advance of wages.  They were forwarded to Earl Spencer, First Lord of
the Admiralty, but as they were looked upon as forgeries, no notice was
taken of them.  Lord Howe being unable from sickness to go afloat, Lord
Bridport took command of the fleet, when the seamen, supposing their
complaints to be disregarded, refused to put to sea.  On the 17th of
March, every man in the fleet having sworn to support the cause, the
mutiny broke out.  Ropes were reeved at the foreyard-arms of the _Queen
Charlotte_, and the mutineers were about to hang the first lieutenant of
the ship, when Lord Bridport saved him.  They, however, turned all the
officers out of the fleet who had behaved in any way to offend them.
Two delegates were appointed from each ship to represent the whole
fleet, and the admiral's cabin in the _Queen Charlotte_ was fixed upon
as the place for their deliberations.  On the 21st Admirals Gardner,
Colpoys, and Pole went on board the _Queen Charlotte_ in order to confer
with the delegates.  These men assured the admirals that no arrangement
would be considered as satisfactory till it should be sanctioned by the
king and parliament, and guaranteed by a proclamation for a general
pardon.  So irritated did Admiral Gardner become on hearing this, that
he seized one of the delegates and swore that he would have them all
hanged with every fifth man throughout the fleet.  This so exasperated
the crew that it was with difficulty Admiral Gardner escaped with his
life from the ship.  The red or bloody flag was now seen flying from the
_Royal George_, and that of Lord Bridport was struck.  The mutineers
also loaded all the guns, keeping a watch the same as at sea; every
officer being detained on board his respective ship.  In a few days,
however, the seamen, hearing that their petitions were likely to be
attended to, returned to their duty.  Admiral Bridport rehoisted his
flag on board the _Royal George_, and informed the seamen that he had
brought with him the redress of their grievances and his majesty's
pardon for the offenders.  It was now hoped that all matters in dispute
were settled; but the seamen, fancying that notwithstanding the
admiral's assurances, they were to be neglected, again refused when
ordered to weigh anchor.  Admiral Golpoys, on this, ordered the marines
to prevent the delegates from coming on board.  The latter attempted to
force their way, when the marines fired, and five seamen were killed and
one of their officers wounded.  On this the crew of the _London_ turned
the guns in the fore-part of the ship aft, and threatened to blow the
officers, and all who stood by them, into the water.  Seeing that
resistance was hopeless, the officers surrendered, and the admiral and
captain were confined in their cabins.  Happily, on the 8th of May, a
resolution of the House of Commons was passed, and the king's free
pardon being communicated to the seamen, they became satisfied, the red
flag was struck, the officers were reinstated in their commands, and the
whole fleet put to sea the next day to look out for the enemy.  Lord
Bridport had been ordered to keep at sea as much as possible, and only
to return when necessary to refit or revictual.  This plan succeeded,
and the seamen generally obeyed their officers and conducted themselves

At Plymouth the ships' companies exhibited a mutinous disposition, but,
after a time, they accepted the terms offered to the seamen at
Portsmouth, and tranquillity was restored.

While these things were occurring at home, Sir John Jervis, with about
15 sail of the line, 4 frigates, 2 sloops of war, and a cutter, after
putting into the Tagus, was cruising off Cape Saint Vincent.  While
there, a Spanish fleet of 25 sail of the line, 11 frigates, and a brig,
came through the Straits of Gibraltar, bound for Cadiz.  On the 14th of
February, before dawn, a Portuguese frigate brought intelligence to the
admiral that a Spanish fleet was about five leagues to windward.  The
English fleet was formed in two compact divisions; in one of them was
the _Captain_, with the broad pendant of Horatio Nelson.  It appeared
that the Spaniards had at first supposed that the fleet in sight was
part of a convoy.  Some days before an American, which had passed
through the British fleet before Admiral Sir Hyde Parker had joined with
five ships of the line, while another, the _Culloden_, was absent in
chase, had given the information that the English admiral had only nine
sail of the line.  The morning broke dark and hazy, and the Spaniards
obtaining but a partial view of the British fleet, were fully confirmed
in their mistake, and believed that they should surround the whole
British squadron and carry them in triumph into Cadiz.  Notwithstanding
the more just estimate that Sir John Jervis had of his opponents, he
lost no time in endeavouring to bring them to action.  The main body of
the Spanish fleet came down under all sail, with the wind on the
starboard-quarter, while the ships to leeward, close-hauled on the same
tack, were endeavouring to join them there.  Admiral Jervis formed his
line close-hauled on the starboard tack, steering straight for the
opening between the two divisions of the Spanish fleet.  The _Culloden_,
the leading ship, commanded by Captain Troubridge, had the honour of
commencing the battle about half-past eleven; the other British ships
following, effectually cut off a part of the Spanish fleet from the main
body, and compelled them to form on the larboard tack, with the
intention of passing through or to leeward of the British line; but they
were met with so warm a reception from the centre of the British that
they were obliged to tack, and were unable again to get into action till
towards the close of the day.  Admiral Jervis now devoted all his
attention to the main body of the enemy's fleet to windward, which was
reduced at this time, by the separation of the ships to leeward, to
eighteen sail of the line.  A little after twelve o'clock the signal was
made for the British fleet to tack in succession, and soon after the
signal for again passing the enemy's line; while the Spanish admiral's
design appeared to be to join the ships to leeward by wearing round to
the rear of the British line.  The intention of the enemy was, however,
soon perceived by Commodore Nelson, who, being in the rear, had an
opportunity of observing this manoeuvre.  In order to frustrate the
design, he had no sooner passed the Spanish rear than he wore and stood
on the other tack towards the enemy.  In executing this bold and
decisive manoeuvre, the commodore found himself alongside of the Spanish
admiral in the _Santissima Trinidad_, of 136 guns.  Notwithstanding this
immense disparity, Nelson was not the man to shrink from the contest,
though the Spaniard was ably supported by her two seconds ahead and
astern, each of which was a three-decker.  While Nelson sustained this
unequal conflict, Troubridge in the _Culloden_, and Captain Frederick in
the _Blenheim_, were coming to his assistance.  Sir John Jervis had
ordered Captain Collingwood in the _Excellent_ to bear up, while he
passed to leeward of the rearmost ships of the enemy.  As he did so, he
gave the _San Ysidro_ so effectual a broadside that she was compelled to
submit.  Captain Collingwood then passed on to the relief of Nelson, but
before he arrived, the Spaniard's mizen-mast fell overboard and she got
entangled with her second, the _San Nicolas_, a ship of guns.  On this,
Nelson determined to board the _San Nicolas_, and the _Captain_ was so
judiciously placed by Captain Miller, her commander, that he laid her
aboard on the starboard-quarter of the Spanish 84, her spritsail-yard
passing over the enemy's poop, and hooking in her mizen-shrouds.
Nothing can surpass Nelson's own description of what now took place.
Calling for the boarders, he ordered them on board:--"The soldiers of
the 69th regiment, with an alacrity which will ever do them credit, and
Lieutenant Pearson of the same regiment, were almost the foremost on
this service.  The first man who jumped into the enemy's mizen-chains
was Captain Berry, late my first lieutenant (Captain Miller was in the
very act of going also, but I directed him to remain).  A soldier of the
69th regiment having broken the upper-quarter-gallery window, jumped in,
followed by myself and others as fast as possible.  I found the cabin
doors fastened, and some Spanish officers fired their pistols at us
through the windows; but having burst open the doors, the soldiers
fired, and the Spanish brigadier (or commodore) fell as he was
retreating to the quarter-deck.  I found Captain Berry in possession of
the poop, and the Spanish ensign hauling down.  I passed with my people
and Lieutenant Pearson along the larboard gangway to the forecastle,
where I met several Spanish officers prisoners to my seamen, and they
delivered me their swords.  At this moment, a fire of pistols or muskets
opening from the admiral's stern-gallery in the _San Josef_, I directed
the soldiers to fire into her stern.  Our seamen by this time were in
full possession of every part of the ship.  About seven of my men were
killed, and some few wounded, and about twenty Spaniards.  Having placed
sentinels at the different ladders, and calling to Captain Miller,
ordering him to send more men into the _San Nicolas_, I directed my
brave fellows to board the first-rate, the _San Josef_, which was done
in an instant, Captain Berry assisting me into the main-chains.

"At this moment a Spanish officer looked over the quarter-deck rail, and
said they surrendered.  From this most welcome intelligence, it was not
long before I was on the quarter-deck, when the Spanish captain, with
bended knee, presented me his sword, and told me the admiral was dying
of his wounds below.  I asked him on his honour if the ship had
surrendered.  He declared she had; on which I gave him my hand, and
desired him to call his officers and ship's company and tell them of it,
which he did; and on the quarter-deck of a Spanish first-rate,
extravagant as the story may seem, did I receive the swords of
vanquished Spaniards, which, as I received, I gave to William Fearney,
one of my barge-men, who tucked them, with the greatest _sang-froid_,
under his arm."

Immediately on Nelson's return on board the _Captain_, he made the
signal for boats to assist in disengaging her from the prizes, and as
she was rendered incapable of further service until refitted, he hoisted
his pennant for the moment on board the _Minerve_ frigate.  In the
meantime Admiral Jervis ordered the _Victory_ to be placed on the
lee-quarter of the rearmost ship of the enemy, the _Salvador del Mundo_,
and threw in so effectual a broadside that the Spanish commander, seeing
the _Barfleur_ bear down to second the _Victory_, struck his flag.  He
was very nearly capturing the _Santissana Trinidad_, but the rest of the
Spanish fleet, hitherto uninjured, coming down, he found it necessary to
secure his prizes and bring to.  All these ships did was to open an
ineffectual fire, and then to sail away, leaving the British to carry
off their prizes in triumph.  The English ships lost in killed and
wounded only 300 men, while on board the ships captured the Spanish
killed and wounded amounted to 697.  Just honours were showered on the
victorious admirals and captains; Sir John Jervis was created a peer of
Great Britain, under the titles of Baron Jervis of Meaford and Earl
Saint Vincent; and among others, Commodore Nelson, who had just before
been made a vice-admiral, received the insignia of the Bath.

It had been believed that the mutinous spirit of the seamen had been
quelled by the concessions made to them, but such, it was soon found,
was not the case.  On the 20th of May most of the ships lying at the
Nore, and nearly all of those belonging to the North Sea Fleet, hoisted
the red flag.  The mutineers at Sheerness, like those at Spithead, had
chosen two delegates from every ship, and had appointed as a president
over them a man of the name of Richard Parker; while on board each ship
was a committee of twelve men, who decided on all the affairs relative
to its internal management.  They declared themselves dissatisfied with
the terms accepted by the seamen of Portsmouth, and demanded a more just
division of prize-money, more regular and frequent payment of wages, and
also permission to go on shore when in port, with several other
conditions.  This statement they required Vice-Admiral Buckner, whose
flag was flying on board the _Sandwich_, of 90 guns, to transmit without
delay to the Admiralty, and they declared that only when its conditions
were complied with would they return to their duty.  So bold did they
become that they went on shore without interruption, parading Sheerness
with music and flags, inviting the crews of other ships to join them;
while they had their headquarters in a public-house, above which a red
flag was hoisted.  To put a stop to this, some regiments were sent for,
when they thought it prudent to keep to their ships.  All communication
with the shore being stopped, the mutineers supplied themselves with
water and provisions from the merchant-vessels which they brought to,
while they allowed none to proceed up to London, completely blockading
the port.  Throughout the whole of the mutiny the seamen behaved
respectfully to their superior officers, while the strictest discipline
was kept up on board all the ships.  On the king's birthday the seamen
even exhibited their loyalty by firing a grand salute from all the
ships, which were decorated in the manner usual on festive occasions.

Conciliatory measures for inducing the seamen to return to their duty
were tried in vain.  The Government, however, would not yield to any of
their demands, and the seamen on board most of the ships at length
finding their cause hopeless, hauled down the red flag.  Some had
previously made their escape from their midst.  Ultimately, the crew of
the _Sandwich_ carried their ship under the guns of Sheerness, when a
guard of soldiers coming on board, Parker, their ringleader, was
delivered up.  He, with the chief culprits, was tried, convicted, and
executed; others were flogged through the fleet, and many were
imprisoned for certain periods, a general pardon being granted to the
seamen who had been misled by them.

Wide as was the spread of the mutiny, whole ships' companies remained
true to their colours.  Among these crews who remained loyal, that of
the _Saint Fiorenzo_ deserves especially to be mentioned, and an account
written by the late Admiral Mitford, who was then a midshipman on board
her, cannot fail to prove interesting.  "She was," says Admiral Mitford,
"the favourite frigate of his majesty George the Third, who, from his
courtesy and kind manner towards the ship's company, had endeared
himself to them.  This may in some degree account for the loyalty of the
men, strengthened by their unbounded attachment to one of the most
humane, brave, and zealous commanders that ever walked a deck--one to
whom every man looked up as a father, the late Admiral Sir Harry Burrard
Neale.  A better lesson cannot be given to a young officer to show that
by kindness and firmness that desirable object may be attained which was
so eminently proved during one of the most eventful periods of this
country.  The _Saint Fiorenzo_ was at Spithead when the first mutiny
broke out, and the red flag was hoisted on board the _Queen Charlotte_.
The day before that event the men came and informed Sir Harry of what
was to take place, but that he might rely on their loyalty, and as far
as was consistent with prudence, that they would obey every order from
the officers, to which resolution they most scrupulously adhered.  While
such was the state of affairs, the _Saint Fiorenzo_ having received
orders to proceed to Sheerness for the purpose of fitting out to carry
over the Princess Royal, then Duchess of Hesse-Homburg, to Cuxhaven,
after her marriage, the mutineers allowed her to sail without attempting
to stop her.  Their demands having been acceded to by the Government,
the men, just as we were sailing, returned to their duty.
Notwithstanding the loyalty of our crew, two of the delegates,
thoroughly trustworthy men, had been chosen, with Sir Harry's
permission, who regularly brought him all the information they could
obtain.  On our arrival at Sheerness, we found the red flag still flying
on board the _Sandwich_ guard-ship, and supposing that her crew had not
been informed of what had taken place at Spithead, our delegates went on
board to explain, and were surprised and disgusted to find that fresh
demands had been made by the North Sea Fleet, and of so frivolous a
nature, that from some remarks made by our men, perhaps not very
courteous, their zeal in the cause was suspected, and consequently the
mutineers were very jealous of our crew.  On returning on board, our
delegates immediately communicated with the _Clyde_, an old
fellow-cruiser, commanded by Captain Cunningham, who also enjoying the
confidence of his ship's company, an agreement took place between the
respective captains and their crews, that should the disaffection of the
mutineers continue, they would leave them and run under cover of the
forts at Sheerness.  I should say that I believe a very small proportion
of the men were disaffected, and, as on most public outbreaks, the
majority were dictated to by a few desperate and disappointed men.
Parker had been shipmate with a considerable number of the _Saint
Fiorenzo's_ crew, and they had a great contempt for him.  He had been
acting-lieutenant in some ship with them, and was dismissed for
drunkenness.  If a little energy had been used on some of the
opportunities that offered, the whole affair might have been quashed.

"Having got leave to go on shore from the delegates of our ship, I
landed and passed through the dockyard, followed by the whole of the
delegates of the fleet, Parker and Davis walking together in procession.
When outside the gates, they saw the Lancashire fencibles coming to
strengthen the garrison, to whom they offered every insult they could
devise.  On this the officer in command halted his men, and coming up to
the admiral and commissioner, who were standing opposite the gates,
asked, so I understood him, whether he might be permitted to surround
the delegates, complaining of the insults offered to himself and his
men.  On this I involuntarily exclaimed, `Now's the time;' when the
admiral asked me what I meant, and how I dared to speak?  I said, `These
are all the delegates,' pointing out to them Parker and Davis and
others.  The fellows overheard me, and I have no doubt I became a marked
man.  I may congratulate myself on the event which carried us away from
the fleet, otherwise I might have suffered what others did, and been
yard-armed, tarred, and feathered; but I feel justified in saying that,
had my suggestion been acted upon, there would have been an end of the
mutiny at the Nore.  Returning on board I found that every arrangement
had been made, and the _Clyde_ being the inshore ship, was to move
first, which she did, and ran under the batteries; when, either from
incompetency or fear, our pilot refused to take charge of the ship, and
the tide being on the turn to ebb, Sir Harry Neale thought it advisable
to wait for a more favourable opportunity.  In the meantime we were
visited by the delegates of some of the leading ships, who abused our
crew for permitting the _Clyde_ to escape without our firing upon her.
So incensed did the men become at this, that one of the quartermasters,
John Ainslie, came aft, and asked the first lieutenant whether they
might not throw the blackguards overboard, which, I doubt not, a nod of
assent would have effected.

"The mutineers now gave orders to our crew to place the frigate between
the _Inflexible_ and _Director_, to send our gunpowder on board the
_Sandwich_, Admiral Parker as he was called, and to unbend our sails,
with which orders our people agreed to comply.  Sir Harry was
immediately acquainted with the circumstances, and he at once arranged
that the ship, instead of doing so, should run into Sheerness.  When all
was prepared, with springs to our cables to cast inshore, and we were
ready to cut, in heaving the spring broke, and we cast outward.  Sir
Harry, whose presence of mind never forsook him, on this directed the
quartermaster to take the command and he would dictate to him.  All was
sheeted home in a moment, and we stood in between the two line-of-battle
ships, which had their guns double-shotted, their crews being all ready
with lanyards in hand to fire upon us.  The ship by that time had got
good way, when Sir Harry gave the order to let fly all the sheets, which
took the mutineers by surprise, and supposing that the ship was coming
to an anchor, they did not fire.  Sir Harry then ordered the helm to be
put hard a-port, which caused the ship to shoot ahead of the
_Inflexible_.  He now came on deck and took the command, crying out to
the ship's company, `Well done, my lads!' when a loud murmur of applause
was heard fore and aft; but we had no time to cheer.  `Now, clear away
the bulkheads, and mount the guns,' he cried.  By this time the whole
fleet of 82 sail had opened their fire upon us.  The shot fell like
hail, but, whether intentionally or not, few struck our hull.  It was
reported that the _Director_ fired blank cartridges or she might have
done us more injury; but I believe that her crew, struck with awe at the
idea of firing on their countrymen, and also with admiration of their
bravery, fired wide.  In little more than two hours the bulkheads were
cleared away from the cabin door to the break of the quarter-deck, the
whole space having been fitted up with cabins for the suite of her royal
highness, the guns on both sides being also down in the hold.  The guns
were mounted and we were ready for action.  The men now came aft and
begged that, should the mutineers come after them, they might go down
with the ship rather than return to the fleet at the Nore.  Our master,
although a good pilot, did not feel himself justified in taking charge
of the ship within the boundaries of a branch pilot.  We were therefore
on the look-out for a pilot-vessel, when a lugger was discovered on the
lee bow, and we were on the point of bearing down on her, when we saw
the North Sea Fleet coming with the red flag flying, having left their
station in a state of mutiny, the admiral and all the officers being
under arrest.  A frigate bore down to us, when Sir Harry gave the
speaking-trumpet to the quartermaster Stanley, and when she hailed as to
what we were doing there, he replied that we were looking out to stop
the ships with provisions for the fleet.  She then proceeded, and joined
the fleet again, and we made sail after the lugger.  The necessary
signals were made, but not being answered, we gave chase, and, after a
run of four hours, captured the _Castor and Pollux_, a French vessel of
16 guns.  We were proceeding to Portsmouth with our prize, when she,
being to windward, spoke a brig, who informed us that the mutiny had
again broken out at Spithead.  Sir Harry on this thought it prudent to
anchor under Dungeness until he could communicate with the Admiralty.
During the night, as we lay there, a ship was seen bearing down towards
us, which, however, answered the private signals; but that could not be
depended upon, as it was probable that the mutineers would have
possessed themselves of them.  We accordingly beat to quarters.  The men
again repeated their request to sink rather than surrender to the
mutineers.  The stranger appeared high out of the water, and we could
not be certain whether she might not be a line-of-battle ship.  The wind
being very light, she closed slowly.  The suspense was awful.  The
springs were hove on to keep our broadside to bear.  Sir Harry hailed,
and her answer was, `The _Hussar_ frigate, Lord Garlies, from the West
Indies.'  Having come from a long voyage, her appearance was accounted
for.  Seeing the lights at all our port-holes, those on board the
frigate could not understand the necessity of such extreme precautions,
being, of course, ignorant of the mutiny.  When her men wore acquainted
with our situation, they were so struck with the bravery and
determination of the _Saint Fiorenzo's_ ship's company that they
immediately said, should any ship be sent to bring us back, they would
share our fate.  None, however, came, and in a few days we heard that
the mutiny was at an end, and we sailed, I think, for Plymouth, and
another ship was ordered to take over the Princess of Hesse-Homburg."

By the daring and determination of another captain, Sir Henry Trollope,
he prevented his ship's company from joining the mutineers.  He had been
removed from the _Glutton_ to the _Russell_, 74, one of the North Sea
Fleet, which lay in Yarmouth Roads.  On hearing that his crew were about
to join the mutineers, he came to the resolution of compelling them, by
a proceeding of the most desperate character, to obey his orders.
Providing himself with provisions and water, a compass and a chart, and
a brace of pistols, he secretly entered the powder-magazine.  Besides
the door at the entrance, there was a grate, through which he could look
into the outer apartment.  Seating himself with his pistols in his hand,
he sent for the delegates, and ordered them at once to get the ship
under way, to carry her out to sea.  "You know me, my lads," he said,
calmly; "we have been ordered to proceed to the Texel, and these orders
must be obeyed.  Sooner than have her name disgraced, I will blow her
and all on board up into the air.  Return on deck and attend to your

The mutineers looked aghast, but they knew their captain, and of what he
was capable, too well to disobey him.  They could not have molested him,
even had they dared.  The crew, obeying their officers, while the
captain sat far below in the magazine, their guiding spirit, got the
ship under way, and stood out to sea--the rest of the ships, either not
aware of what she was about, or not venturing to interfere with her.  In
a short time she joined Admiral Duncan, who, with his flag flying on
board the _Venerable_, was blockading the Texel.  He had been left with
only his own ship and the _Adamant_, keeping in check a Dutch fleet of
15 sail of the line, under Admiral de Winter.  In order to prevent the
Dutch from coming out, Admiral Duncan made use of a ruse, frequently
repeating signals, as if communicating with the main body of his fleet
in the offing.  At length he was joined by other line-of-battle ships,
but his fleet, severely battered by bad weather, and being short of
provisions, had to put back into Yarmouth Roads, while Captain Trollope
remained with a small squadron to watch the enemy.  He continued there
till the 9th of October, when information was brought that the Dutch
fleet was at sea.  He immediately sailed, and having looked into the
Texel, on the 11th the _Russell_ and other ships were seen with the
signal flying at their mast-heads that the enemy was in sight to
leeward.  The Dutch fleet stood away, however, towards the coast of
Suffolk, when, finding that the English admiral was within seven leagues
of him, he sailed back towards Camperdown, followed by the English
look-out frigates.  De Winter now formed a close line of battle, and
resolutely awaited Admiral Duncan.  The British fleet on this bore down
on the enemy, with the signal flying for close action.  The _Monarch_,
leading the larboard division of the British fleet, first cut the Dutch
line, pouring in well-directed broadsides on the ships on either side of
her.  The action soon became general; one after the other the Dutch
ships were compelled to strike.  One of them, the _Hercules_, catching
fire, the crew threw overboard their powder, and were therefore obliged
to surrender their ship.  The Dutch admiral's ship, the _Vryheid_, held
out gallantly to the last, but was at length compelled to yield, when
the rest of the ships which had not yet struck their colours, did their
best to make off.  By this time the English were in possession of two
seventy-fours, five sixty-fours, two fifties, and two frigates.  The
escaping enemy could not be pursued, for the land was close aboard, and
the fleet in nine fathoms water.  All the victors could do, therefore,
was to secure their prizes, and to endeavour to get clear of the shore
before nightfall.  The Dutchmen had fought gallantly, aiming at the
hulls of the British ships, which were fearfully shattered, and in all
of them numerous shots were found sticking; though the masts and rigging
were but comparatively little injured.  The English lost 228 killed and
812 wounded, including many officers, and the Dutch 540 killed and 620
wounded.  Of the whole Dutch fleet seven only escaped, and five of these
were afterwards captured.  With regard to the number of their guns, the
two fleets were almost equal--the English ships carrying altogether 1150
guns, and the Dutch 1034; besides which, the latter had some corvettes
and brigs which took part in the action, and greatly annoyed their
opponents, though their guns were not counted.  The victory of
Camperdown was gained by the very men who had taken part in the mutiny.
On the news reaching England, all those still under sentence were

During this year occurred the unfortunate attack on Santa Cruz, in the
island of Teneriffe, when, in attempting to land on the mole, Nelson
lost an arm, and the gallant Captain Bowen, with several lieutenants,
was killed, many of the boats being sunk and their crews perishing.

In the year 1798 the French made three attempts to land armies in
Ireland, but on each occasion their fleets were driven back, and many of
their ships were captured.  A previous attempt had been made in 1796,
when they were scattered and discomfited by the weather.  The second
succeeded in landing a body of troops; the greater number were killed,
and the survivors were made prisoners.  In the third, the _Hoche_, under
the command of Commodore Bompart, was captured, as were several frigates
of his squadron; while the fourth, finding the warm reception the troops
would meet with should they attempt to land, put back into port.

At this time there were no less than 30,000 French prisoners in England,
and by an agreement with their own government, which was to support
them, it was arranged they should reside at Portsmouth, Plymouth, Norman
Cross, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Chatham, and Stapleton.  Arrangements were
made towards the end of the war for the exchange of prisoners, but it
was found that there were only 2800 English in France.  The French
Directory now issued a decree declaring that all persons natives of, or
originally belonging to, neutral countries, or countries in alliance
with France, serving on board any English ship, should be tried as
pirates.  The English Government, in retaliation, threatened to treat
all subjects of the French Republic in the same manner, should the
savage order be carried out.  This threat had the desired effect.

Bonaparte had been for some time planning a campaign in Egypt.  Sailing
with a large fleet from Toulon, he first captured Malta, and then
proceeded to Alexandria, wonderfully escaping Earl Saint Vincent and
Vice-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson.  Napoleon having landed, his fleet,
under Admiral Brueys, brought up in Aboukir Bay.  Here Nelson found the
French on the 8th of August, drawn up at anchor in order of battle, and
at 3 p.m. he threw out the signal to prepare for the fight, followed an
hour afterwards with orders to anchor by the stern with springs to their
cables.  Another signal was shortly afterwards made to signify that the
admiral meant to attack the enemy's van and centre.  At 6 p.m. Nelson
signalised to the fleet to fill and stand on, which they did in
admirable order, the _Goliath_ leading; when, soon afterwards hoisting
their colours, with the Union Jack in several parts of the rigging, the
British ships took up the stations allotted to them.  At 6:20 p.m. the
_Conquirant_, followed by the _Guerrier_, opened her fire upon the
_Goliath_ and _Zealous_, which was quickly answered by those ships; but
the sun had already sunk into the ocean before any other British ship
had fired a shot.  Loud cheers now burst from every ship of the English
fleet, when the men, flying to their guns, opened their broadsides with
a spirit which soon knocked away the masts and spars of their opponents,
and spread death and destruction on board their ships.  The action had
continued for two hours, several French ships having struck, when a fire
was perceived on board the _Orient_, which in an hour afterwards blew up
with a tremendous explosion, the burning wreck falling far and wide
around, and setting fire to several ships, friends and foes, in the
neighbourhood.  So awful was the effect, that for ten minutes not a gun
was fired on either side.  Thus the battle raged all night long, till
soon after dawn the French frigate _Artemise_, after striking her
colours, also caught fire, and with a terrific explosion blew up.

In the morning the enemy's ships still in a condition to make sail got
under way and endeavoured to escape.  Of the thirteen French ships of
the line, by this time, one had blown up, eight had surrendered, and two
had escaped.  Of the remaining two, one, the _Timoleon_, was on shore,
with her colours flying; the other, the _Tonnant_, lay about two miles
from her, a mere wreck, but also with her colours up.  On the approach,
however, of the _Theseus_ and _Leander_, she hauled them down; while the
crew of the _Timoleon_ set her on fire, and she soon afterwards blew up.
Thus, in the memorable "Battle of the Nile," the French lost eleven
line-of-battle ships, besides frigates.  In this action the British lost
218 killed and 678 wounded.  Among the latter was Horatio Nelson, who
was struck above his already darkened eye by a splinter; while all the
ships were considerably cut up.  On board the _Orient_ fell the
Commodore Casa Bianca, as well as his gallant young son, who had refused
to quit his post; and the French commander-in-chief, Brueys, who, after
receiving two severe wounds, was nearly cut in two by a shot.  While
still breathing, he desired not to be carried below, but to be left to
die upon deck, exclaiming in a firm voice, "Un amiral Francais doit
mourir sur son banc de quart."

"A French admiral ought to die on his quarter-deck."

While the ship was in flames, the boats of the British ships put off to
save the hapless crew, seventy of whom were thus rescued.  The heroic
conduct of the captain of the _Tonnant_, Du Petit Thonars, deserves to
be recorded.  He first lost both his arms, and then one of his legs;
even then, still able to speak, he gave his dying commands to his crew
not to surrender the ship.  Of the English fleet, the _Culloden_
unhappily got on shore while going into action, and only by great
exertions did she get off, after the battle was over.  That the French
fought with the utmost gallantry is acknowledged by all, while we must
rank the victory of the Nile among the most brilliant achievements of
the British Navy.

After the battle every effort was made to repair the damages the ships
had received, and to fit the prizes for the voyage to England.  Nelson
sent the prisoners taken on board them on shore in a cartel, on their
parole not to serve again during the war; but Napoleon, with his usual
disregard for treaties, formed them into a battalion, which he called
the "nautic."  Three of the prizes, being in too shattered a condition
to be refitted, were burnt; another, the _Peuple-Souverain_, being
considered unfit to proceed farther than Gibraltar, was there turned
into a guard-ship.  The five remaining vessels arrived safely at
Plymouth; three of them being new and magnificent ships, the _Tonnant,
Franklin_, and _Spartiate_, were added to the British Navy, the name of
the former being changed to _Canopus_.  Rewards were liberally bestowed
upon the victors; Sir Horatio Nelson was created a peer of Great Britain
by the title of Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe, while a
pension was settled on him of 2000 pounds a-year by the English
Parliament, and 1000 pounds a-year by the Irish; the East India Company
presenting him with 10,000 pounds.

After the defeat of his fleet at Aboukir, Napoleon determined to invade
Syria.  His plans, however, were thwarted by Sir Sidney Smith, who
having captured the fleet which was bringing the battering-cannon and
ammunition from Damietta for the siege of Saint Jean d'Acre, made use of
it to fortify that town, into which, with a small body of seamen and a
few officers, he threw himself, and put it into a state of defence,
while he organised the Turkish troops who formed its garrison.
Napoleon, obtaining fresh guns, in a short time laid siege to Acre.
Though he made several desperate attempts to storm it, they were on each
occasion repulsed by the valour of the Turks, aided by the fire from the
English and sultan's ships.  During one of the many engagements the
_Theseus_ frigate caught fire, and the poop and after-part of the ship
was almost blown to pieces, several of her officers and men being
killed.  The fire was put out by the courage of the surviving officers
and crew.

Napoleon, enraged at his defeat, made every effort to destroy Sir Sidney
Smith.  Two attempts to assassinate him, however, happily failed.  At
length an Arab dervish appeared with a letter to the pacha, proposing a
cessation of arms for the purpose of burying the dead bodies, which in
vast numbers were piled up under the ramparts.  While this proposal was
under consideration, with unexampled treachery, Napoleon attempted to
storm the town; but the garrison were on the alert, and the assailants
were driven back with great slaughter.  The Arab tribes having been
induced to cut off the supply of provisions for the French army, on the
20th of May Napoleon raised the siege, and leaving his guns behind him,
precipitately retreated towards Egypt.  Such is a brief outline of one
of the most daring exploits ever performed by a naval man.

Of a very different character, though one in which consummate bravery
was displayed, was the cutting-out of the _Hermione_ frigate.  She had
been in the year 1799 under the command of Captain Hugh Pigot, one of
those tyrant commanders who are truly said to make their ships "hells
afloat."  While cruising off Porto Rico, as the crew were reefing
top-sails, the captain shouted that he would flog the last man off the
mizen-topsail yard.  Two, in their attempt to spring over their
comrades' backs, missing their hold, fell on the quarter-deck and were
killed.  The captain, it is said, on seeing it, merely observed, "Throw
the lubbers overboard."  The crew, who were probably a bad lot to begin
with, for such a captain could not have obtained a good ship's company,
from a long succession of tyrannical acts, had become infinitely worse.
The next day they rose on their officers, murdered the greater number,
including the captain, and carried the ship into La Guayra, a port of
the Spanish Main.  Hearing that the _Hermione_, which had been fitted
out by the Spaniards and strongly armed, was lying in the harbour of
Puerto Cabello, Captain Hamilton, commanding the _Surprise_, a 28-gun
frigate, determined to cut her out.  Coming off the port on the 21st of
October, he discovered her moored head and stern between two strong
batteries on either side of the harbour, with her sails bent and ready
for sea.  After waiting off the port till the 24th without mentioning
his intentions, he addressed his crew, reminding them of many
enterprises they had undertaken, and pointing out to them that unless
they should at once attempt the capture of the frigate, some more
fortunate vessel would carry off the prize.  Three hearty cheers showed
him that he might depend on his crew.  "I shall lead you myself," he
added.  "Here are the orders for the six boats to be employed, with the
names of the officers and men to be engaged on the service."

Every arrangement had been judiciously made.  The crew were to be
dressed in blue; the password was Britannia, the answer Ireland.  The
boarders were to take the first spell at the oars; then, as they neared
the _Hermione_, they were to be relieved by the regular crews.  The
expedition was to proceed in two divisions, the one to board on the
starboard, the other on the larboard bow, gangway, and quarter.  Sharp
axes were provided for those who were to cut the bower cable, while
others were told off to cut the stern cable, and certain men were to go
aloft to loose the sails.  In the event of their reaching the ship
undiscovered, the boarders only were to board, while the boats' crews
were to take the ship in tow directly the cables were cut; but should
they be discovered, the crews of each boat were to board and all aid in
the enterprise.  The rendezvous was to be on the _Hermione's_
quarter-deck.  At half-past seven the boats were hoisted out, the crews
mustered, and away they pulled from the _Surprise_.  As it happened,
within a mile of the _Hermione_ the expedition was discovered by two
gunboats, and the alarm being given, firing commenced.  Captain Hamilton
on this pushed for the frigate, believing that all his boats would do
the same, but some, misunderstanding his orders, engaged the gunboats.
On approaching, lights were seen at every port, with the ship's company
at quarters.  Captain Hamilton pushed for the bows, and climbing up, his
foot slipped and his pistol went off; but he soon succeeded in gaining a
footing on the forecastle, and those who had been ordered to loose the
sails immediately got the foresail ready for bending and hauling out to
the yard-arms, thus forming a screen to themselves, for not a Spaniard
was there to interfere with them.  On looking down from the forecastle,
they saw the crew of the _Hermione_ at quarters on the main-deck, firing
away into the darkness, utterly unconscious that the enemy were on
board.  Captain Hamilton, with the gunner and fourteen men, now made his
way to the quarter-deck--part of them, however, under the gunner, being
driven back by the Spaniards, who gained possession of the forecastle.
Another party of English also neglecting to rendezvous on the
quarter-deck, the captain was left for some minutes to defend himself
against the attack of four Spaniards, one of whom stunned him, when he
fell.  Happily, some of his men came to the rescue, and a party of
marines climbing over the larboard gangway, now gave a favourable turn
to affairs.  The rest of the boats coming up, the marines formed, fired
a volley, and ran down with fixed bayonets on the main-deck.  About
sixty Spaniards retreated to the cabin, and surrendered.  For some time,
however, fighting continued on the main-deck and under the forecastle.
The cables were cut, the sails were loosed, while the gunner and two
men, though severely wounded, standing at the helm, the boats took the
frigate in tow, and she stood out of Puerto Cabello.  The batteries
immediately opened, and a Portuguese reported that he heard the Spanish
prisoners threatening to blow up the frigate.  A few muskets fired down
the hatchway restored order, and in less than an hour after Captain
Hamilton was on board, all opposition had ceased, and the _Hermione_ was
his prize.  By 2 p.m. the ship was out of gunshot of the batteries, the
towing-boats were called alongside, and her crews came on board.  In
this wonderful enterprise the British had only 12 wounded, while the
Spaniards, out of a crew of 365, lost 119 killed and 97 wounded, most of
them dangerously.  The cutting-out of the _Hermione_ may well be
considered one of the most desperate services ever performed, and no man
was ever more deserving of the knighthood he received than Captain
Hamilton, who had planned every detail, and personally led the bold
attack.  He himself was among the most severely wounded; besides a blow
on his head, he received a sabre wound on the left thigh, another by a
pike in his right thigh, and a contusion on the shin-bone by grape-shot;
one of his fingers was badly cut, and he was also much bruised.

For some time previously to this, detectives, if they may be so-called,
were stationed at each of the ports to discover the members of the crew
who had been on board the _Hermione_ at the time of the mutiny.  No
mercy was shown to those who had taken part in it.  A large number were
hung; it used to be said, indeed, that more suffered than actually then
belonged to her, though they might have done so at some former period.

Sir Edward Hamilton long lived to enjoy his honours.

The days when fabulous amounts of prize-money were to be picked up had
not yet passed by, although the rich Spanish galleons which went to sea
in the times of Drake were seldom to be found.  In October of this year,
1799, fortune smiled on the officers and ships' companies of two British
frigates.  The _Naiad_, of 38 guns, Captain Pierrepoint, while cruising
in latitude 44 degrees 1 minute north, and longitude 12 degrees 35
minutes west, came in sight of two frigates, to which, notwithstanding
the disparity of force, he gave chase.  They proved to be the Spanish
34-gun frigates _Santa Brigida_ and _Thetis_, from Vera Cruz, bound to
Spain.  He followed them all night, when, early in the morning of the
16th, another ship was seen in the south-west, which hoisting her number
showed herself to be the 38-gun frigate _Ethalion_, Captain James Young;
and soon afterwards two other 32-gun frigates, the _Alcmene_, Captain
Digby, and the _Triton_, Captain J. Gore appeared.  The Spaniards,
hoping to escape, steered different courses, but each were pursued by
two British frigates, which, before long coming up with them, compelled
them to haul down their colours.  Fortunately, a breeze coming off the
land, the captors with their prizes were enabled to stand off the coast,
just in time to save themselves from being attacked by four large ships,
which came out of Vigo.  While the English frigates were preparing to
receive the enemy, the four ships put back into port.  The prizes were
found to have on board a cargo of specie, besides other merchandise, to
an amount which gave each captain upwards of 40,000 pounds, each
lieutenant 5000 pounds, each warrant officer upwards of 2000 pounds,
each midshipman nearly 800 pounds, each seaman and marine 182 pounds.
Even the seamen and marines might have been well contented with the gold
pieces they had to chink in their pockets; though in too many instances
they were probably all dissipated before they had been many days on
shore.  Yet complaints were general of the uneven way in which
prize-money was distributed.  It was a common saying among sailors, that
when the pay-clerk went on board ships to pay prize-money, he clambered
with his money-bags into the main-top and showered down the money at
random; all which remained upon the splinter-netting (a coarse rope
netting spread as a kind of awning) was for the men, and all that went
through for the officers.  The captain of a ship not under the admiral's
flag received three-eighths of the net proceeds.  In this instance the
three-eighths were divided among the four captains who assisted in the
capture of the two Spanish frigates.  On the treasure being landed, it
was escorted in sixty-three artillery waggons, by horse and foot
soldiers, and armed seamen and marines, attended by bands of music, and
a vast multitude, to the dungeons of the citadel of Plymouth, whence it
was afterwards removed, much in the same style, and deposited in the
Bank of England.

Still more fortunate, a few years later, was Lord Cochrane, when, in
command of the _Pallas_, he captured three rich prizes in succession, of
which the value could not have been far short of 300,000 pounds.  As,
however, he only took one fourth, his share amounted to about 75,000
pounds.  As it was, however, he nearly lost not only a large portion of
his booty, but his liberty, as, while returning home after he had taken
the last prize, three of the enemy's line-of-battle ships were seen.
The wind freshening to half a gale, the _Pallas_ was standing on,
carrying all the sail she could, when it was found that the enemy were
gaining on her.  In this desperate emergency Lord Cochrane ordered every
stitch of sail to be suddenly taken in, and the three ships of the
enemy, one being on the weather, another on the lee beam, and the third
nearly on the weather quarter, unable to get their canvas off and haul
to the wind, shot miles away to leeward.  The _Pallas_ on this wore
round and made sail on the opposite tack.  The enemy, however, were soon
again in chase, but night coming on, a lantern in a cask was put
overboard, and the _Pallas_, altering her course, got clear of her
pursuers, and reached Plymouth in safety.  As he sailed up the harbour
Lord Cochrane had a gold candlestick, five feet in height, fixed to the
mast-head, and, as may be supposed, he never after this had any
difficulty in manning his ship, when gold candlesticks were to be picked
up, in addition to "pewter" and "cobs," the nickname given by seamen to
silver and dollars.  They have always been found ready to volunteer on
board dashing frigates sent to stations where such prizes were supposed
to abound.

The last important action was that known as the Battle of the Baltic.
Napoleon had induced the Northern powers of Denmark, Sweden, and Russia
to form a league, denominated an armed neutrality, for the French being
unable to keep the sea, he hoped under their flags to obtain provisions
and ammunition for his armies.  To counteract this formidable
confederacy, the English sent a fleet of 18 sail of the line, with a few
frigates, and a number of bomb-vessels and gunboats, in the first place
to attack the Danish fleet, and then to take in hand the other two
confederates.  After many delays, and attempts to induce the Danes to
come to terms, on the 2nd of April, 1801, a portion of the fleet, which
had been intrusted by Sir Hyde Parker to Lord Nelson, appeared before
Copenhagen, and commenced an attack on the floating batteries and forts
prepared by the Danes for the defence of their city.  There is not space
to give the details of the battle.  The Danes fought heroically, their
floating batteries being remanned over and over again from the shore.
After three hours' cannonading, from which both parties suffered
severely, Sir Hyde Parker, understanding that two of the British
line-of-battle ships were in distress, threw out a signal for
discontinuing the action.  On its being reported to Nelson, he shrugged
his shoulders, repeating the words, "Leave off action?  Now, damn me if
I do.  You know, Foley, I have only one eye--I have a right to be blind
sometimes;" then putting the glass to his blind eye, in that mood of
mind which sports with bitterness, he exclaimed, "I really do not see
the signal--keep mine for closer battle flying!  That's the way I answer
such signals.  Nail mine to the mast."

At 1:30 p.m. the Danish fire slackened, and at 2 p.m. ceased along
nearly the whole of the line.  Among the British officers who fell was
the gallant Captain Riou, who was cut in two while carrying his frigate,
the _Amazon_, into action.  After the flags of all the chief batteries
had been struck, some of the lighter vessels that had got adrift fired
on the boats which approached to take possession of them.  Nelson
prepared a letter to send to the Crown Prince of Denmark, threatening to
destroy the prizes unless this proceeding was put a stop to.  He
concluded his letter, "The brave Danes are the brothers and should never
be the enemies of England."  A wafer was then given him, but he ordered
a candle to be brought from the cock-pit, and sealed the letter with
wax, affixing a larger seal than is ordinarily used, remarking as he did
so, "This is no time to appear hurried and informal."

The remainder of the batteries having at length ceased firing, a flag of
truce arrived from the shore, when the action, which had continued for
five hours, was brought to a close, the total loss of killed being 255,
and of wounded 688.  The Danish loss amounted to between 1600 and 1800.
The result of the victory was the secession of Denmark from the league,
and the Emperor of Russia dying soon afterwards, the armed neutrality
was dissolved.

Napoleon now began to hope more ardently than ever that he should ere
long land his victorious legions on British ground.  To carry them over,
he had collected a large flotilla, chiefly at Boulogne.  By Lord
Nelson's orders, a desperate attempt was made by the boats of the
squadron to destroy them.  Some were gun brigs of between 200 and 250
tons; others were flats, vessels capable of carrying a crew of 30 men
and 150 soldiers, with either a mortar or a long 24-pounder, as well as
swivels and small-arms.  Though some few were captured, all attempts at
their destruction failed.  The British cruisers, however, kept too good
a watch to allow them to put to sea.

Numerous cutting-out expeditions took place during the war, in which
both officers and men displayed the greatest possible amount of courage
and determination.  One of the most daring and successful on record was
the capture of the French 20-gun ship-corvette _Chevrette_, while lying
under some batteries in Camaret Bay, by the boats of the _Doris_,
_Beaulieu_, and _Uremic_, forming part of the Channel Fleet under
Admiral Cornwallis, stationed off Brest Harbour.  At the first attempt
the boats were discovered, and the _Chevrette_ ran a mile and a-half
farther up the bay, and took on board a party of soldiers.
Notwithstanding this, the next night, the 21st, the boats of the three
frigates, joined by the barge and pinnace of the _Robust_, 74, amounting
in all to 15, and containing about 280 officers and men, under the
command of Lieutenant Losack, the second in command being Lieutenant
Keith Maxwell of the _Beaulieu_, left their ships at 9:30 p.m.  As they
were pulling into the bay, Lieutenant Losack, with six boats, went in
chase of a boat supposed to be sent as a look-out from the _Chevrette_,
and as he did not return, Lieutenant Maxwell proceeded on without him.
About 1 a.m. the flotilla coming in sight of the _Chevrette_, she opened
a heavy fire on them of grape and musketry, and at the same time they
were assailed by a fire of musketry from the shore.  Undaunted by this,
the British boarded the ship, some on the starboard bow and quarter, and
others on the larboard bow, bravely opposed by the Frenchmen, who were
armed with muskets and pistols, sabres, tomahawks, and pikes.  Some,
indeed, attempted to enter the boats, but were driven back by the
British, who, having lost their pistols and muskets, made their way
cutlass in hand.  Some who had been directed to loose the sails, fought
their way on to the corvette's yards.  Here they found the foot-ropes
strapped up, but, notwithstanding every obstacle, the sails were let
fall in less than three minutes after the boarders had gained the deck.
The cable having, in the meantime, been cut outside, a light breeze
blowing from the land, and the quartermaster of the _Beaulieu_, Henry
Wallis, fighting his way to the helm, and though bleeding from his
wounds, taking charge of the wheel, the ship drifted out of the bay.  On
seeing the canvas loose, some of the Frenchmen leaped overboard, and
others sprang down the hatchways, thus allowing the British to gain
possession of the quarter-deck and forecastle, now nearly covered with
the bodies of the slain.  For some time, however, the Frenchmen who had
fled below kept up a sharp fire of musketry, but the English, firing
down in return, compelled them to yield.  On her way out the prize was
exposed to a heavy fire of round and grape from the batteries, but, the
wind increasing, she got out of grape-shot.  Not till then did
Lieutenant Losack and his companions get on board.  Two officers were
killed, one of whom was Lieutenant Sinclair of the marines, while
defending Mr Crofton, a midshipman, who had been severely wounded while
boarding.  The other, Robert Warren, a midshipman.  Another, Lieutenant
Waller Burke, was mortally wounded.  Altogether, 11 were killed and 57
wounded, and I marine drowned in the _Beaulieu's_ barge, which was sunk
by a shot from the corvette.  The gallantry of the boatswain of the
_Beaulieu_, Mr John Brown, was also conspicuous.  After attempting to
force his way in to the _Chevrette's_ fore-quarter-gallery, he climbed
up over the taffrail, when standing up for some time exposed to the
enemy's fire, waving his cutlass, he shouted out, "Make a lane there;"
then, gallantly dashing among the Frenchmen, he fought his way to the
forecastle.  Here he continued driving back the French, who attempted to
regain the post, all the time carrying out the orders he received from
the quarter-deck, while he assisted in casting the ship and making sail
as coolly as if he had been carrying on duty under ordinary

During the war, which ended at the peace of Amiens, on the 27th of
March, 1802, England had captured 80 sail of the line, and numberless
other ships, besides various islands in the West Indies and other parts
of the world, from the French, Spaniards, and Dutch.  Though most of the
latter were given up, the navy of England had gained a renown which can
never be obliterated.



The "piping times of peace" were not destined to last long.  Napoleon,
indeed, had never ceased making preparations for war from the time the
treaty of Amiens was signed.  On the 16th of May the British Government,
discovering his aims, issued letters of marque and ordered general
reprisals; and at the same time Holland, being in reality a province of
France, all ships belonging to the Batavian Republic in English ports
were detained.  Admiral Cornwallis, in command of the Channel Fleet, of
10 sail of the line and frigates, which was lying in Cawsand Bay, had
his flag flying on board the _Dreadnought_, 98.  With these he proceeded
the next day to cruise off Ushant, and watch the motions of the French
ships in Brest Harbour; other small squadrons being sent, as soon as
they were ready, off the other French ports, containing either ships of
the line or gunboats, of which Napoleon was collecting vast numbers for
the invasion of England.  In a short time that war, which was to last
ten years, commenced in earnest.  The French gunboats were, however,
kept pretty close prisoners by the English cruisers, and whenever any of
them ventured out from under the protection of their batteries, they
were attacked, captured, driven on shore, or compelled to seek shelter
in the nearest port under their lee; while many of them were gallantly
cut out and carried off in triumph, even when moored in positions where
they could receive assistance from the forts on shore.

Out of the numberless gallant deeds performed by the crews of boats and
small vessels engaged in this service, one must be instanced for its
singularity, and the bravery displayed by the commanding officer and his
followers.  A hired cutter, the _Sheerness_, carrying 8 4-pounders and
30 men and boys, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Rowed, while
watching Brest Harbour, observed two chasse-marees close inshore.
Having sent a boat with seven men and the mate to cut off one of them,
the commander proceeded in the cutter in chase of the other, which was
about five miles off, under the protection of a battery.  A calm coming
on, he, with the boatswain, John Marks, and three other men, jumped into
a small boat and pulled away for the chase.  The latter, after some
time, ran on shore under the battery, where thirty soldiers were
observed drawn up on the beach.  Notwithstanding the heavy fire they at
once opened, Lieutenant Rowed dashed alongside.  The Frenchmen having
deserted their vessel, he began making efforts to get her off; in this,
as the tide was rising, he at length succeeded, and going ahead in the
boat, towed her away from the shore.  He had pulled about a third of a
mile, when suddenly a French boat, with an officer and nine men armed
with muskets, were seen alongside, having pulled up in the wake of the
vessel.  Before the French could have time to attack them, John Marks
sprang on board the chasse-maree, and seizing a boat-stretcher, stood
prepared to prevent any of the enemy from getting up the side.  The
astonishment of the Frenchmen gave time to the lieutenant and his three
men to climb on board and to prepare their firearms and cutlasses.  The
French, who attempted to get up the side, were driven back, when they
sheered off, but discharged their muskets at the English as they pulled
away, while the battery also opened fire.  Wonderful as it may seem,
though forty-nine musket-balls were found sticking in the prize, not a
man was hurt; and both chasse-marees were carried off.

For some time the principal fighting was between the English cruisers in
the channel and the invasion flotilla, as Napoleon's gunboats were
called; and as their stings might annoy, though they could not inflict
serious injury, attempts were made to destroy them by fire-vessels or
catamarans--which was the name given to a species of nautical infernal
machine--though without much success.  The catamaran consisted of a
coffer of about 21 feet long and 3 and a half broad, somewhat in shape
like a log of mahogany, wedge-shaped at each end.  It was covered with
thick planking, and lined with lead, thoroughly caulked and tarred,
while over all was a coat of canvas, payed over with hot pitch.  To give
an idea of its size, the vessel weighed about two tons.  Inside was a
piece of clock-work, the mainspring of which, on withdrawing a peg
placed on the outside, would, after going six or ten minutes, draw the
trigger of a lock, and explode the vessel.  Every other part was filled
with about 40 barrels of gunpowder and other inflammable matter.  As
much ballast was placed in it as would keep the upper surface of the
deck even with the water's edge.  It had no mast, and had to be towed
towards the scene of its operations.  The tow-rope was at one end, and
to the other was fixed a rope with a grappling-iron at its extremity,
kept afloat by pieces of cork.  This grappling-iron, it was intended,
should hook itself to the cable of the vessel it was to destroy, and
thus swing the catamaran alongside.  It was, indeed, on a larger scale,
though with less destructive power, something like Harvey's torpedo of
the present day.

Lord Keith, who was with a squadron off Boulogne, first made use of four
of the machines, in the hopes of destroying some of a flotilla of 150
vessels moored in a double line outside the pier.  Three exploded one
after another, doing very little harm; but a heavily armed launch, which
had chased one of the boats towing a catamaran, ran foul of it, when the
launch and every one on board was blown into the air.

Numerous other engagements took place, and frequently the portions of
the flotilla moving from the different ports towards Boulogne were
severely handled by the British cruisers.  Occasionally, small English
vessels, venturing too close inshore for the purpose of attacking them,
were captured by the French.

At length Napoleon managed to collect a vast number of prames and
gun-vessels, with other craft, the whole flotilla amounting to 2293, of
which the larger were armed.  These were intended to carry 163,645 men,
of whom 16,783 were sailors, besides 9059 horses.  This flotilla was
organised in six grand divisions.  One, denominated the left wing, was
stationed at Etaples, to convey the troops under Marshal Ney from the
camp of Mottrieux.  Two other divisions were in the port of Boulogne, to
convey the troops from the two camps on either side of it, under Soult.
A fourth was at the port of Vimereux to carry the corps of Marshal
Lannes.  The Gallo-Batavian flotilla, assembled off Ambleteuse, formed
the fifth grand division, destined to transport the troops under Marshal
Davoust; while the sixth, at Calais, was to carry the Italian infantry,
and various divisions of mounted and dismounted dragoons.

On the 3rd of August, 1805, Napoleon came to Boulogne to inspect the
flotilla, and so completely organised was it by this time, that although
the extremities of the camps were more than two miles from the point of
embarkation, an hour and a-half only was occupied in getting men and
horses on board.  All he wanted was the arrival of his fleet under
Villeneuve, to protect his mighty flotilla during its passage across the
channel, and then, as his generals at all events believed, the conquest
of England was certain.

Meantime Nelson, who at the breaking out of the war had been appointed
to the command of the fleet in the Mediterranean, was watching
Villeneuve, resolved to prevent him from appearing on the spot where his
fleet was so anxiously looked for by Napoleon.  On the 18th of May,
1803, he had hoisted his flag on board his old ship, the _Victory_, and
on the 20th had sailed from Spithead, first bound to Brest, and from
thence to the Mediterranean.  Here he remained for nearly two years,
without once setting foot on shore, watching and waiting for the Toulon
fleet, endeavouring to induce them to come out and give him battle.  At
length, on the 18th of January, 1805, the French fleet did come out, but
a heavy gale blowing.  Nelson was then at anchor off the coast of
Sardinia.  Supposing that they had gone to Egypt, he sailed in chase,
but found that they had put back into Toulon.  Hence again Villeneuve
sailed, and escaping through the straits, was joined by the Spanish
fleet at Cadiz, which had 4500 troops on board.  The combined fleet of
the enemy now numbered 20 sail of the line and 10 frigates, while Nelson
had but 10 sail of the line and 3 frigates.  With these, however, he
chased Villeneuve to the West Indies, where, after threatening several
of the islands, he fled back to Europe, with Nelson after him.  When
about twenty leagues west of Finisterre, on the 22nd of July, the French
admiral was attacked by Sir Robert Calder, with 15 line-of-battle ships,
but escaped into Cadiz, with the loss of two of the Spanish ships.
Nelson, meantime, had sought the enemy on the north-west coast of
Ireland, and then came back into the channel, where his ships reinforced
the fleet under Admiral Cornwallis off Ushant, and he himself, worn out
with fatigue and anxiety, went on shore for a short rest.

It was now that Napoleon urged Villeneuve to come into the channel,
ending with the words, "England desires us, we are all ready, all is
embarked, appear, and within four-and-twenty hours all is finished."  No
sooner did Nelson hear that the French and Spanish fleet had entered
Cadiz than, again offering his services, he arrived at Portsmouth on the
14th of September, and the next morning, putting off in his barge to the
_Victory_, he bade his last farewell to England.  On the 29th of
September, his birthday, he was off Cadiz, and joining Collingwood, took
command of the British fleet, then amounting to 27 sail of the line.
Villeneuve had been waiting till the Spaniards were ready, and till a
favourable wind would allow him to sail.  On the 9th of October Nelson
sent Collingwood his plan of attack, his intention being to advance
towards the enemy in two lines, led by eight of his fastest
three-deckers, and thus to break through the enemy's line.  Collingwood,
having the command of one line, was to break through the enemy about the
twelfth ship from the rear, Nelson intending to lead through the centre,
while the advanced squadron was to cut off three or four ships ahead of
the centre.  He would make few signals: no captain could do wrong who
placed his ship close alongside that of an enemy.  Not till the 19th did
the admiral learn that Villeneuve had put to sea, when he at once
concluded that he intended to enter the Mediterranean.  Two days
afterwards, the ever-memorable 21st of October, 1805, at daylight, when
the English fleet was about seven leagues from Cape Trafalgar, Nelson
discovered the enemy six or seven miles to the eastward, which had so
manoeuvred as to bring the shoals of Trafalgar and San Pedro under the
lee of the British fleet, while they kept the port of Cadiz open for

Nelson now hoisted the signal to bear down on them in two lines.  Nelson
led one in the _Victory_, Collingwood the other in the _Royal
Sovereign_.  On going into action he asked Captain Blackwood, who had
come on board to receive orders, what he should consider a victory.
"The capture of 14 sail of the line," was the answer.  "I shall not be
satisfied with less than 20," said Nelson.

Shortly afterwards up went the signal, "England expects every man to do
his duty."

Notwithstanding the attempts made to induce Lord Nelson to allow the
_Temeraire_ to lead his line into action, the _Victory_ carrying all
sail, kept her station.  Ahead of her was Villeneuve's flag-ship, the
_Bucentaur_, with the _Santissima Trinidad_ as his second before her;
while ahead of the _Royal Sovereign_, the leader of the lee column, was
the _Santa Anna_, the flag-ship of the Spanish vice-admiral.  The sea
was smooth, the wind very light; the sun shone brightly on the
fresh-painted sides of the long line of French and Spanish ships, when
the _Fougueux_, astern of the _Santa Anna_, opened her fire on the
_Royal Sovereign_, which, at about ten minutes past noon, delivered her
larboard broadside, with guns double-shotted, at the _Santa Anna_, and
with such precision as to disable 14 of her guns, and to kill or wound
400 of her crew; while with her starboard broadside she raked the
_Fougueux_.  Just then Collingwood exclaimed to his captain, "Rotherham,
what would Nelson give to be here;" and at the same moment Nelson was
observing, "See how that noble fellow Collingwood carries his ship into

The wind now falling to almost a calm, the _Victory_ and the ships in
her wake advanced so slowly that seven or eight of the rearmost ships of
the French van having opened fire upon the _Victory_ before she had
fired a single gun, 50 of her men were killed or wounded, and her
main-topmast with her studdensail-boom shot away, and every sail,
especially on the foremast, had become like a sieve.  At about four
minutes after twelve she opened with both her broadsides.  Captain Hardy
now informed Nelson that it was impossible to break the enemy's line
without running on board one of their ships.  "Take your choice--go on
board which you please," was the answer.

The _Victory_, as she approached the _Bucentaur_, fired a 68-pounder
carronade containing a round-shot and a keg with 500 musket-balls, from
the larboard side of her forecastle, right into the cabin-windows of
that ship; and as she forged slowly ahead, the whole of her 50 broadside
guns, all doubly and some trebly shotted, so as completely to rake her,
killing or wounding as many men as the _Bucentaur_ had lost, and
dismounting 20 of her guns.  Receiving the fire of an 80-gun ship, the
_Neptune_, the _Victory's_ helm being put hard a-port, she ran on board
the _Redoutable_, into which she poured a heavy fire, while with her
aftermost starboard guns she engaged the _Santissima Trinidad_.  Besides
the heavy fire of great guns and musketry she was enduring from other
ships, she received the shot of the _Redoutable's_ main-deck guns, and
also constant discharges of musketry from the three tops of that ship.
It was from the mizen-top of the _Redoutable_, at about 1:25 p.m., that,
as Nelson and Captain Hardy were walking the deck together, the admiral
was shot by a musket-ball, which entered his left shoulder, and
descending lodged in his spine.  Hardy, who had just turned, saw him in
the act of falling, with his left hand just touching the deck.  He was
removed by the sergeant of marines and two seamen to the cock-pit.

In the meantime the action raged furiously.  Soon after the first four
ships of the lee division had cut through between the centre and rear of
the enemy's line.  The remainder, as they came up, forced their way into
the dense mass and engaged such ships as they could best attack.  The
weather division was doing the same, rather ahead of the centre, and at
about 1:30 p.m. the battle was at its height.  At about 3 p.m. the
firing began to slacken, and two hours afterwards had wholly ceased, by
which time 9 French sail of the line, including one burnt, and 9 Spanish
were captured.  Nine French and 6 Spaniards escaped, of which 4 French
ships made sail to the southward, and 11, 5 of which were French and 6
Spanish, reached Cadiz, most of them much knocked about; while all the
frigates and smaller craft also escaped.

Within twenty minutes after the fatal shot had been fired from her, the
_Redoutable_ struck her colours, and about three hours after Nelson had
received his wound, he breathed his last.

In the whole action the British lost 449 killed and 1241 wounded, while
several of the ships lost two of their masts, and five were totally
dismasted.  Lord Nelson intended to anchor the fleet and prizes, but
this Lord Collingwood did not think fit to do, and a gale coming on from
the south-west, some of the prizes went down, others were driven ashore,
one escaped into Cadiz, some were destroyed, and only four by the
greatest exertions were saved.  To the credit of the Spaniards it must
be recorded that the English prize-crews which landed from the wrecks
were treated with the greatest kindness.

Although there were few trophies, the result of the victory was
completely to disconcert Napoleon's plans, and to prevent him from
invading England.  Four ships which escaped after the action were
captured by Sir Richard Strachan on the 4th of November, and not while
the war continued did the French and Spanish navies ever recover the
tremendous blow they had received off Cape Trafalgar.  Thus, of the once
formidable French and Spanish fleet of 35 sail of the line, 2 were taken
by Sir Robert Calder, 4 of those captured at Trafalgar were carried into
Gibraltar, as were the 4 taken by Sir Richard Strachan, 15 were sunk or
were burnt or wrecked; 3 only fit for sea escaped into Cadiz; while 7,
so severely battered as to be mere wrecks, got into the same port,
making up the whole number mentioned.  In vain for some time did
Napoleon attempt to send another fleet to sea.  His ships were either
blockaded by the British squadrons, or, when they did manage to escape,
were attacked and beaten by our fleets.  At the same time small
squadrons or single cruisers running out of port committed much havoc on
English commerce; not, however, with impunity.  Numerous actions between
light squadrons and single ships took place.  The enemy, indeed, were
never safe, even in port; and expeditions to cut out vessels in the
harbours or under the protection of forts were much in vogue.

The navy of England was, at the commencement of 1806, larger than it had
ever before been, consisting of 551 cruisers in commission, of which 104
were line-of-battle ships; in addition to which 26 were building or
being built, and 10 in ordinary, a large proportion of the rest being
frigates carrying from 56 to 28 guns.

A new method had been introduced to strengthen ships by diagonal braces
or by doubling or sheathing them with plank, and sometimes when they
were in bad condition both bracing and doubling them.  By this means 22
sail of the line, several frigates, and other smaller vessels had been
made fit for active service.

In this year, also, was launched the first British ship of war
constructed of teak.  Two first-rate ships also were ordered, the
_Nelson_ and the _Caledonia_, of a tonnage and force double that of many
of the old ships of the line.  To man this large fleet Parliament made a
vote of 120,000 seamen and marines.

The four ships captured by Sir Richard Strachan were carried into
Plymouth, and were added to the British Navy, the _Formidable_ having
the name of _Brave_ given to her, the _Duguay-Trouin_ that of the
_Implacable_, while the _Scipion_ and _Mont Blanc_ were allowed to
retain their former names.  The _Implacable_ and _Scipion_ were,
however, the only ships considered as fit for service.

Notwithstanding the heavy loss France had sustained, Bonaparte managed
to send to sea a fleet of 11 sail of the line, and a number of frigates,
in two squadrons.  One of these sailed for the West Indies early in
1806, while the other steered for the Cape of Good Hope.  Admiral
Duckworth, who, with 7 sail of the line, had been blockading Cadiz, came
up with the former of these squadrons, consisting of 5 ships, 2
frigates, and a corvette, and after a severe action took or destroyed
the whole of the five line-of-battle ships.

Among the gallant actions performed at this time was one which shows
that seamen fight as well on shore as afloat.  The British 38-gun
frigate _Loire_, Captain Maitland, cruising off the coast of Spain,
having chased a privateer into the Bay of Camarinas, situated to the
eastward of Cape Finisterre, sent in three of her boats, under the
command of Lieutenant James Lucas Yeo, to bring her out.  Instead of
one, they found two privateers, moored under a battery of 10 guns.  Both
were captured, in spite of the fire of the battery; but in order to
secure the larger of the two, Lieutenant Yeo was compelled to abandon
the smallest vessel.  To recompense himself for her loss, he captured
three merchant-vessels laden with wine on his way out.  From his
prisoners Captain Maitland learned that a French privateer of 26 guns
was fitting out at Muros, and being acquainted with the navigation of
the bay, he resolved on her capture or destruction.  Accordingly, on the
4th of June, he stood into the bay, with springs on his cables, ready to
attack the fort, and towing his boats, with fifty officers and men under
the command of Lieutenant Yeo.  On passing close to the shore, the
_Loire_ was exposed to a fire from two long 18-pounders, which
considerably annoyed her.  On this Captain Maitland ordered Lieutenant
Yeo to land and spike the guns.  The gallant lieutenant departing on
this service, the _Loire_ stood on, when, as she opened the bay, she
discovered at anchor within it a large corvette pierced for 26 guns, and
a brig of 10 guns; but as the armament of both vessels was on shore,
they were unable to offer any resistance.  The _Loire_, however, was now
exposed to a hot fire from a fort of 12 long 18-pounders, from which, as
she was less than a quarter-of-a-mile off, nearly every shot struck her
hull.  Finding that by standing on he should be exposed to a still
hotter fire, Captain Maitland ran as close in as he could venture, and
anchoring the frigate with a spring on her cable, opened her broadside.
So strong, however, was the fort, that the frigate's shot committed
little or no damage, while numbers of her crew were falling, some
severely wounded.  Lieutenant Yeo had in the meantime landed, and
storming the 2-gun battery, put its defenders to flight.  Having spiked
the guns, Lieutenant Yeo discovered the large fort close to the town of
Muros, which was severely annoying the frigate.  Without hesitation, he
resolved to attack it, and his men were eager to follow him.  The
garrison were so occupied in firing at the frigate, that not only was
the approach of the British unperceived, but the outer gate had actually
been left open.  On the seamen rushing forward, headed by Lieutenant
Yeo, the sentinel who only just then perceived them, fired his musket
and retreated, followed closely by the storming party, which on reaching
the inner gate was met by the governor, and those he had time to rally
round him, sword in hand.  With a blow of his cutlass, which was broken
in the effort, the lieutenant laid him dead at his feet.  A desperate
struggle ensued in the narrow passage between the officers of the
garrison and the British seamen, who, bearing down all opposition, drove
the enemy before them to the farther end of the fort, many of whom in
their terror sprang through the embrasures down upon the rocks below, a
height of twenty-five feet.  The garrison of the fort consisted of
upwards of 100 men, composed of the crew of the corvette, 22 Spanish
soldiers, and several Spanish volunteers.  Of these, the governor, the
second captain of the corvette, and a Spanish gentleman, with nine other
men, were killed, and thirty wounded, before the survivors, finding all
opposition useless, laid down their arms; when the British colours,
greatly to the satisfaction of the frigate's crew, were seen flying on
the flagstaff.  Directly the fort was in the possession of the British,
the seamen and marines did their best to assist the wounded prisoners,
and were amply repaid by the gratitude which the unfortunate men's
friends expressed when they came to carry them into the town.  The guns
being spiked and thrown over the parapet, and part of the fort being
blown up, the British embarked, carrying off 40 barrels of powder, 2
small brass cannon, and 50 stand of arms.  The corvette and brig, as
also the Spanish merchant-vessel, were taken possession of, when Captain
Maitland sent a flag of truce to the town, promising that should the
stores of the two privateers be delivered up, he would not injure the
town; he also refrained from capturing a number of small
merchant-vessels which lay in the bay, considering that it was cruel to
deprive the poor owners of the means of obtaining a livelihood.  His
terms were gladly accepted, and the bishop and one of the principal
inhabitants of Muros came off to express their gratitude for the kind
way in which their victors had treated them, and offering such
refreshment as the place could afford to the British captain and his
officers.  The corvette was named the _Confiance_, and on his return
home Lieutenant Yeo was appointed to her.  Shortly afterwards he was
raised to post-rank, the _Confiance_ being rated as a post-ship, with an
armament of 22 carronades, 18-pounders, and a complement of 140 men and
boys, in order that he might still remain her captain.

Among the most remarkable of the gallant actions of this period between
single ships was that fought in August, 1805, between the British
18-pounder 36-gun frigate _Phoenix_, Captain Thomas Baker, and the
French frigate _Didon_, of 40 guns, Captain Milius.  The _Didon_
measured 1091 tons, and had a crew of 330 men, the weight of her metal
amounting to 563 pounds; while the _Phoenix_ measured but 884 tons, her
crew numbering only 245 men, and the weight of her metal was 444 pounds.
The _Didon_, which had three days before sailed from Corunna with
despatches for the Rochefort squadron, and after escaping an action from
another English frigate, had been visited by the skipper of an American
merchant-vessel, who informed Captain Milius that a ship whose
topgallant-sails were just then rising out of the water to windward was
an English 20-gun ship, on board of which he had been the previous
evening, and from what he had heard he was sure that she would venture
to engage the _Didon_.  Captain Milius, though ordered to avoid an
action, believing that victory was certain, backed his mizen-topsail and
kept his main-topsail shivering to allow the British ship to come up
with him.  The stranger was the _Phoenix_, and which was not only a
smaller frigate, but Captain Baker had disguised her to resemble at a
distance a sloop of war.  The mistake into which Captain Milius had been
led by his treacherous visitor was therefore not discovered until the
_Phoenix_ was close to the _Didon_, which ship, hoisting her colours,
fired a gun to windward, and at 8:45 a.m. opened her broadside.  Captain
Baker, in order to prevent the _Didon_ from escaping, had resolved to
engage to leeward, but, from the manoeuvres of the French ship, unable
to do this, he stood down right at her to windward with all sail set.
By this bold measure he succeeded in bringing his broadside to bear on
the _Didon_ at pistol-shot distance, when a hot fire of round-shot,
grape and musketry was exchanged between the combatants.  The _Phoenix_
from the press of sails she carried, ranged ahead of the _Didon_, which
lay almost stationary, and before she could haul up, was raked by the
latter; but as the crew were ordered to lie down, they escaped without
damage.  By the rapidity with which the crew of the _Phoenix_ repaired
her damaged rigging, they avoided an attempt made by the _Didon_ to rake
her with her starboard broadside.  In a short time the _Didon's_
larboard bow ran against the starboard-quarter of the _Phoenix_, both
ships lying nearly in a parallel direction, the former having only one
gun which could be brought to bear on her antagonist.  At that moment
the Frenchmen in vast numbers attempted to board the _Phoenix_, but were
vigorously repulsed; while the marines of both ships exchanged a warm
and destructive fire.  At this juncture a young midshipman, Edward
Phillips, observed a man upon the _Didon's_ bowsprit end taking
deliberate aim at Captain Baker, close to whom he was standing.  Being
armed with a musket, he, thrusting the captain on one side, fired.  At
the same moment the Frenchmen fell into the water, while the bullet
intended for the captain's head tore off alone the rim of his hat.
Several men who were sick below, leaving their hammocks, employed
themselves in bringing up powder, while the acting purser, Mr John
Colman, who might with propriety have remained to assist the surgeons in
the cock-pit, appeared on deck with a brace of pistols in his belt and a
broadsword in his hand, encouraging the crew by every means in his
power.  Still, the great superiority of the French made it doubtful
which ship would gain the victory; when Captain Baker by great exertions
brought the aftermost main-deck gun to a port which he had cut by
enlarging one of the stern windows.  Several of his men were killed by
the French marines while the operation was going forward, but at length
he succeeded in running it through the port, and, at his first
discharge, sweeping the _Didon_ from her larboard bow to her
starboard-quarter, laid low twenty-four of her crew.  The British
marines were, in the meantime, keeping up so spirited a fire on the
forecastle of the _Didon_ that they prevented the Frenchmen from
discharging the carronade placed on it.  This work continued for
half-an-hour, when the _Didon_ fore-reached on the _Phoenix_, which, as
she did so, brought her second aftermost gun to bear on her, and at its
first discharge cut away the gammoning of her bowsprit and did other
damage.  Though the guns of the _Phoenix_ were lighter than those of the
_Didon_, they were fired nearly half as quick again.  The _Didon_ had by
this time, as she passed out of gunshot, lost her main-topmast, while
her foremast was in a tottering condition, and her hull severely
shattered.  The rigging of the _Phoenix_ had also been so much cut about
that she was almost unmanageable.  Both frigates, which had gone into
action with nearly all their sails set, now exhibited a melancholy
appearance, their canvas riddled or in tatters, and rope-ends drooping
from their masts and yards.  Their crews were now employed in repairing
their damaged rigging, and so well trained and diligent was that of the
_Phoenix_ that in a short time they had knotted and spliced her rigging
and rove fresh braces.  While so employed, about noon, they were
encouraged by seeing the _Didon's_ foremast fall over the side.  Soon
afterwards a light air of wind springing up, the _Phoenix_, trimming her
sails, stood down towards the _Didon_, and having got within gunshot,
was about to open her fire, when the French frigate, being utterly
helpless, hauled down her colours.

The _Phoenix_ had lost her second lieutenant, 1 master's mate, and 10
seamen killed, and 3 officers, 13 seamen, and 12 marines wounded; while
the _Didon_ had had 27 officers and men killed, and 44 badly wounded out
of her crew of 330 men, who were looked upon as one of the most
efficient in the French navy, while Captain Milius, who was known for
his gallantry and seamanship, had fought his frigate with the greatest

The crew of the _Phoenix_ had still a difficult duty to perform.  Their
prisoners greatly outnumbered them, and not only had they to refit the
two ships, but to keep a strict watch on their captives.  The _Didon's_
main-mast was so severely wounded that it had immediately to be cut
away, when the _Phoenix_, taking her in tow, steered for a British port.
On the evening of the 14th she fell in with the _Dragon_, 74, which
ship accompanying her, the next day they came in sight of M.
Villeneuve's fleet.  On this the _Phoenix_, with her prize in tow, made
sail to the southward, pursued by several French ships; but after a time
they tacked and left her and her prize to proceed unmolested.  Having
passed Lisbon, she was steering for Gibraltar, when, during a thick fog,
the ringing of bells and firing of guns were heard.  Meeting with the
_Euryalus_ frigate, Captain Baker learned that the sounds proceeded from
the Franco-Spanish fleet.  He accordingly again altered his course to
the westward.  He had a still greater danger to contend with.  The
French pilot belonging to the _Phoenix_ overheard some of the prisoners
talking of a plan for getting possession of the _Phoenix_.  The intended
mutiny was speedily crushed.  Shortly afterwards the pilot brought aft
Captain Milius' late coxswain, accusing him of being the ringleader.
The French captain was very indignant, and demanded of the man whether
he had any complaint to offer.  On his acknowledging that he had none,
Captain Milius besought Captain Baker to put the fellow in irons,
declaring him to be a disgrace to the name of Frenchman.  After this the
prisoners remained quiet, and the _Phoenix_ with her prize, having the
advantage of a good wind, at length safely reached Plymouth Sound on the
3rd of September.  The _Didon_, which was a beautiful and fast-sailing
frigate, was purchased for the navy, but, without ever having been sent
to sea, was unaccountably broken up in 1811.

Humane and brave as British officers have almost always proved
themselves, tyrannical captains, who in most instances have been also
deficient in courage and seamanlike qualities, have occasionally been
found in the service.  Among men of this class the Honourable Captain
Lake, commanding the sloop of war _Recruit_, must be ranked.  While at
Plymouth he had pressed a young seaman, Robert Jeffrey by name,
belonging to Polperro in Cornwall, out of a privateer.  Shortly
afterwards the _Recruit_ sailed for the West Indies.  While in those
seas, the ship having run short of water, Jeffrey was accused of
stealing, on the 10th December, a bottle of rum, and some spruce beer
out of a cask.  He was accordingly put in the black-list.  Two or three
days afterwards the _Recruit_ came in sight of the desert island of
Sombrero, eighty miles to the south-west of Saint Christopher.  Captain
Lake on seeing it suddenly took it into his head to maroon Jeffrey on
the island.  Accordingly, that very evening, he was conveyed on shore in
a boat, commanded by the second lieutenant, who had with him a
midshipman and four seamen.  Even the buccaneers, when they thus treated
a culprit, had the humanity to leave him arms, and food, and clothing;
but Captain Lake ordered the unfortunate youth to be left on this
uninhabited spot with no other clothing than that he wore, without a
particle of food.  The lieutenant, observing that his bare feet were cut
by the sharp stones, obtained a pair of shoes from one of the men, and
gave him a knife and a couple of handkerchiefs, contributed by himself
and the midshipman.  The lieutenant advising him to keep a bright
look-out for passing vessels, then, according to his orders, leaving the
poor fellow, pulled back to his ship.  Soon after the arrival of the
_Recruit_ at the Leeward Islands, Sir Alexander Cochrane, the
commander-in-chief, hearing what had occurred, sent her back to bring
off the man, in case he should have survived.  The officers on landing
searched the island over, but could discover no traces of the marooned
seaman.  Jeffrey, however, was not dead.  For eight days he had
subsisted on such limpets as he could find among the rocks, and the rain
water which he discovered in their crevices.  He was growing weaker and
weaker, for though he had seen several vessels pass, he was unable from
weakness to hail them; till, on the morning of the ninth day, an
American schooner, the _Adams_, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, hove in
sight, and his signal being seen, the master came on shore and saved him
from the death which probably would have soon overtaken him.  He was
landed at Marblehead, where he remained till 1810, when the English
Government hearing of the occurrence, sent for him, and gave him his
discharge, taking the big R off his name thus enabling him to receive
all arrears of pay.  On the whole circumstance being inquired into,
Captain Lake, who acknowledged that he had landed Jeffrey upon Sombrero
under the belief that it was inhabited, was deservedly sentenced to be
dismissed from the British Navy.  In 1807, it having become known that
Napoleon intended to take possession of the Danish fleet, to recompense
himself for the loss of his own, a British fleet of 17 sail of the line
and 21 frigates, and smaller vessels, was despatched to the Baltic,
under the command of Admiral Gambier.  An army of 20,000 men was also
sent at the same time, commanded by Lord Cathcart, and they were
directed to demand the surrender of the Danish fleet, the English
Government undertaking merely to hold it as a deposit, to be restored at
a general peace.  The fleet reached its destination early in August.
After various skirmishes with the Danish gunboats and batteries, it
completely surrounded the island of Zealand, when the troops were
landed, and the Danish general, Peiman, refusing the terms offered, on
the 2nd of September the English fleet and batteries opened fire on
Copenhagen, which was ultimately set on fire.  The bombardment continued
for three days, with a short interval, in the hopes that the Danes would
yield; but it was not till a number of the garrison and inhabitants had
been killed, and a large portion of the city burnt down, that General
Peiman sent out a flag of truce.  Lord Cathcart's reply was, that no
capitulation could be listened to unless accompanied by the surrender of
the Danish fleet.  This was at length agreed to, and the British were
put in possession of the citadel and the ships of war, with their
stores.  In six weeks the whole of the fleet fit for sea was carried
off, the remaining few ships being destroyed; while a large amount of
naval stores was embarked, as was the army, without a casualty.  On
going down the sound, the _Neptunus_, one of the prizes, an 80-gun ship,
got on shore, and was destroyed, as were also most of the Danish
gunboats, in consequence of bad weather coming on.  The fleet, however,
without further accident, at the close of October, arrived safely at
Yarmouth and the Downs.  Whatever opinion may be formed of the legality
or expediency of the enterprise, no one can deny that it was carried out
with ability and promptitude; and as the Danes would undoubtedly have
assisted Napoleon in his designs against England, she was certainly
justified in thus summarily preventing Denmark from injuring her.

It was at this time that the Danish island of Heligoland was captured by
the _Majestic_, 74, and the _Quebec_ frigate, but being of no possible
use, was recently handed over to Germany.

The next expedition on a large scale in which a British fleet was
engaged brought neither advantage to the country nor honour to its
leaders.  The Turks having been tampered with by the French, Sir John
Duckworth, in command of a squadron, had been sent to Constantinople to
take possession of or destroy the Turkish fleet should the sultan not
give a sufficient guarantee of his friendly intentions.  According to
his instructions, Sir John proceeded with his squadron up the
Dardanelles, his ships being exposed to the fire of the forts on either
hand.  Altogether, the loss of the squadron amounted to 6 killed and 51
wounded.  The Turks, however, were not to escape without punishment.
Not far from the Castle of Abydos lay the Turkish squadron, which had
the audacity to fire on the British ships as they passed.  While four of
the latter came to an anchorage to prevent their escape, Sir Sidney
Smith, with three frigates, ran in and anchored within musket-shot of
them, when, opening his fire, he compelled one of the Turkish
sixty-fours and two frigates, and other smaller vessels, to run on
shore, the only ones which did not do so being captured, a fort under
which they had sought protection being also destroyed.  Unhappily, one
of the British ships, the _Ajax_, commanded by Captain Blackwood, caught
fire during the night, and so rapidly did the flames extend, that no
efforts availed to put them out, and upwards of 250 souls, among whom
were two merchants and two women passengers, perished.  It was supposed
that the fire was caused by the spontaneous combustion of some coals
stowed in the after-cock-pit.

Sir John, on arriving before Constantinople, lost a considerable time in
diplomatic negotiations, while the Turks were doing their utmost to
fortify their city and the island of Prota, which commanded the
anchorage.  Instead of attacking the city, Sir John sailed again down
the Dardanelles, receiving on his way a hot fire from the Castle of
Abydos and other forts on either hand.  The Turks fired granite shot,
one of which, weighing 800 pounds and measuring 6 feet in circumference,
passed through the side of the _Active_, two feet above the water, and
lodged on the orlop-deck, close to the magazine-scuttle, without
injuring a man.  So large was the aperture made by it, that Captain
Mowbray, her commander, saw two of his crew thrusting their heads out of
it at the same moment.  Another shot of the same weight struck the
main-mast of the _Windsor Castle_, and cut it more than three-quarters
through.  Other ships were struck by shot of equal dimensions.  Four men
on board the _Standard_ were killed by one of these shot, which, at the
same time striking a salt or ammunition box on deck, caused an explosion
by which a lieutenant, 3 petty officers, and 37 men and 6 marines were
wounded, and 4 seamen in their alarm leapt overboard--the total loss by
this single shot amounting to 8 killed and drowned, and 47 wounded.  The
story is told of a seaman who thrust his head out of one of the
shot-holes, and pertinaciously kept it there.  When asked why he did so,
he replied that he considered it the safest place, as he was sure no
other shot would come in at that hole.

By great exertions the French had in the year 1809 fitted out 9
line-of-battle ships, in addition to the squadrons already at sea,
which, under the command of M. Allemand, had arrived in Basque Roads.

Here they were for some time blockaded by the British Channel Squadron
under Lord Gambier, whose flag was flying on board the _Caledonia_, of
120 guns, Captain Sir H. Burrard Neale.  Lord Gambier had himself
suggested the possibility of destroying the French fleet by means of
fire-ships, though he considered, as his letter expresses it, "a
horrible mode of warfare, and the attempt very hazardous, if not
desperate."  The Admiralty had, however, anticipated him, and had
already ordered the construction of several fire-ships, which, on the
arrival from the Mediterranean of Lord Cochrane, commanding the 38-gun
frigate _Imperieuse_, were placed under his command.  On his reaching
the fleet he was coldly received by the other captains, who were jealous
of the appointment of a junior officer to conduct so important a
service.  Lord Cochrane remarks that two only, Rear-Admiral Stafford and
Sir Harry Neale, received him in a friendly manner.  Lord Cochrane was
not a man to be disconcerted by such conduct, and felt thoroughly
convinced that the plan he proposed would succeed.  The French, aware of
the danger of their position, had done their utmost to fortify it.  The
defences on Ile d'Aix were strengthened, and works were commenced on the
Boyart Shoal on the opposite side of the entrance to the roads, while a
boom half-a-mile in length, composed of spars and cables, had been laid
down and secured by heavy anchors.  This boom, forming an obtuse angle,
occupied a deep channel between Ile d'Aix and the Boyart Shoal, and it
was supposed would prove effectual against the passage of fire-ships.
The French fleet was drawn up in two lines inside the boom, with three
frigates in line ahead of them.  The ships thus placed, aided by the
batteries on shore, would have been sufficient to sink the British fleet
had it attempted to force a passage.  Besides the fire-ships, Lord
Cochrane had constructed two explosion vessels.  The largest contained
1500 barrels of powder, formed into a solid mass by wedges and wet sand
rammed hard between the casks.  On the top of this mass of gunpowder
were 400 live shells with short fusees, together with as many hundreds
of hand grenades and rockets.

The night of the 11th of April was fixed on for the enterprise.  The
fire-ships were ready, but one mortar-vessel, the _Etna_, alone had
arrived.  The _Imperieuse_, from whence operations were to be directed,
anchored close to the inner end of the Boyart Shoal.  The _Aigle,
Unicorn_, and _Pallas_ frigates, brought up in a line to the northward
of her, in order to receive the crews of the fire-ships and support the
boats of the fleet, while the _Etna_ anchored off the north-east point
of Ile d'Aix, covered by the _Emerald_ frigate and four gun brigs.  Two
others, with screened lights hoisted, were to act as pointers for the
guidance of the fire-ships.  They were to pass between the two light
vessels, and then shape a course for the boom.  A strong wind from the
north-west enabled the fire-ships to run about two points free for the
boom.  At 8:30 p.m. Lord Cochrane, accompanied by Lieutenant Bissell,
embarked on board the largest of the explosion vessels, on the perilous
undertaking, the other fire-ships followed.  He was accompanied by a
boat's crew of four volunteers only, in addition to the lieutenant.
Having nearly reached the boom, he ordered the lieutenant and his men to
get into the boat while he ignited the port-fires.  It was supposed that
the fusees would burn fifteen minutes, by the end of which time the boat
might be well out of the range of the grenades; but scarcely five
minutes had elapsed ere a terrific explosion occurred, throwing up a
huge wave which nearly swamped the boat, while grenades and rockets were
darting round them on all sides, shells and missiles of every
description rising in the air.  The escape of Lord Cochrane and his
companions was almost miraculous, for not one of them was hit.  The
fire-ship, too, had performed her destined work, if not as completely as
had been desired, sufficiently so to enable the _Mediator_ fire-ship,
Commander Woolridge, to force her way.  In his eagerness to direct her
against the enemy, he remained till the explosion actually occurred,
when he, with two lieutenants, a seaman, and the gunner, who was killed,
were blown out of the ship.  So well directed were the six other
fire-ships that two fell on board the _Ocean_, of 120 guns, and the
_Regulus_, a 74, the former being compelled to cut her cables, and she
soon afterwards, narrowly escaping the Pallas Shoal, ran on shore, where
she again had a narrow escape from another fire-ship.  So panic-stricken
were the French crews that every effort to escape was made.  The scene
was indeed truly terror-inspiring, the darkness rendering the effect of
the burning ships, the flight of shells and rockets, and the flashes of
the guns awful in the extreme.

The danger in which the French ships were placed will best be understood
from an account written by one of the officers of the _Ocean_, the
French admiral's flag-ship.  After the _Ocean_, narrowly escaping being
blown up, had grounded, a burning fire-ship grappled her athwart her
stern.  Every effort was made to prevent the fire from catching the
ship; the engine playing, completely wetted the poop, while spars were
used to heave off the fire-ship, and axes to cut the lashings of her
grapnels fastened to the end of her yards; but the _chevaux-de-frise_ on
her sides held her firm.  The flames from the fire-ship covering the
whole of the poop, it seemed impossible that the _Ocean_ could escape.
At this juncture two other line-of-battle ships, the _Tonnerre_ and
_Patriote_, fell on board her.  The first broke her own bowsprit and
destroyed the _Ocean's_ main-channels.  As the fire-ship athwart the
stern was now about to drive forward along the starboard side, the
_Tonnerre_ was got free.  Unless this had happened the fire-ship would
have fallen into the angle formed by the two ships, and would inevitably
have burnt them.  The fire-vessel having now drifted under the bowsprit
of the _Ocean_, was there held for some time.  In order to afford the
_Tonnerre_ and _Patriote_ an opportunity to get out of her reach, an
attempt had been made to drown the magazine, but the flow of water was
too slow for the purpose.  In the efforts to clear the fire-ships
upwards of fifty men fell into the sea and were drowned, the boats
saving others.

Shortly afterwards another fire-vessel approached on the
starboard-quarter, but the _Ocean's_ guns cut away her main-mast, and
wearing, she passed close alongside.  For the remainder of the night
vessels were seen burning on all sides.  Daylight revealed the French
fleet in a deplorable condition; the _Ocean_ on the mud at a distance of
half-a-mile to the south-east of the anchorage in Aix Road; to the
south-east of her, about fifteen hundred yards off, on a rocky bed, lay
the _Varsovie_ and _Aquilon_, and close to them on somewhat better
ground the _Regulus_ and _Jemappes_.  The _Tonnerre_, already bilged,
and her main-mast cut away, and most of her guns hove overboard, lay at
the entrance of the Charente, and at some distance off the _Calcutta_,
close to the wreck of the _Jean Bart_.  The _Patriote_ and _Tourville_
also lay not far from the channel of the Charente.  Four frigates were
also on shore in the same direction.  All the grounded ships were more
or less on the heel--those on the Pallas Shoal in a very desperate
condition.  Thus, although the fire-vessels had not caused the immediate
destruction of any of the French fleet, they had been the means of
reducing nearly the whole of them to a comparatively defenceless state.
Lord Cochrane, in the _Imperieuse_, being the nearest English ship, was
the first to perceive their condition, and immediately telegraphed, "The
fleet can destroy the enemy--seven on shore;" at 6:40, "Eleven on
shore;" and at 9:30, "Enemy preparing to heave off."  At first it was
hoped that Lord Gambier would immediately stand in and complete the
destruction of the helpless enemy; and there can be little doubt, had
such men as Sir Sidney Smith or Lord Cochrane himself been in command,
such would have been accomplished; but Lord Gambier, afraid of risking
the loss of the whole fleet by venturing among the shoals, called his
captains on board, held a council of war, and allowed the favourable
time to pass by.  The tide rising enabled several of the ships to get
afloat, and run up the Charente out of the way of danger.  The
_Imperieuse_, without waiting for orders, after signalling for
assistance, stood towards three of the French ships, the _Calcutta,
Varsovie_, and _Aquilon_.  After some time she was joined by some gun
brigs and bomb-vessels, and later by the _Indefatigable_, and other
frigates.  She had, in the meantime, compelled the _Calcutta_ to cease
firing, and the Frenchmen to abandon her.  Lord Cochrane then sent a
midshipman and boat's crew to take possession, when, without orders, the
midshipman set her on fire, and in the evening she blew up with a
tremendous explosion.  The _Tonnerre_ was also set on fire by her own
officers and crew, and blew up.  The fire from the English ships
compelled the _Varsovie_ and _Aquilon_ to submit at 5:30 p.m.  Five
other French ships lying on shore at the mouth of the Charente might
also have been destroyed had there been any reserve of fire-vessels, but
these were wanting, and though efforts were made to prepare three more,
by the time they were ready the wind had shifted and they could not be
used.  The French lost the _Varsovie_, of 84 guns, the _Aquilon_ and
_Tonnerre_, of 74 guns, and the _Calcutta_, of 50 guns.  The
_Imperieuse_ during the action had three seamen killed, and Mr Gilbert,
an assistant-surgeon, Mr Marsden, purser, seven seamen, and two marines
wounded, while the _Revenge_ had three men killed and Lieutenant Garland
and fourteen men wounded, she also receiving considerable damage in her
hull from the batteries on Ile d'Aix.  The French loss was much more
considerable; the _Varsovie_ especially, having 100 killed and wounded,
while the captain of the _Aquilon_ was killed in a boat of the
_Imperieuse_, when seated by the side of Lord Cochrane, by a shot from
the burning _Tonnerre_.  The burning _Varsovie_ and _Aquilon_, being
supposed by the French to be fire-ships, created a further panic among
them.  The captain and crew of the _Tourville_, believing that the
fire-vessel was bearing down upon them, deserted their ship, and
hastened in their boats on shore.  A gallant French quartermaster,
however, of the name of Bourgeois, managed to get on board again before
the boat shoved off, resolved to stand by his ship to the last.  To
secure his safety should the fire-ships grapple the _Tourville_, he at
once began constructing a raft.  He had just completed it when an
English boat approached, the crew of which were ignorant that the ship
was abandoned.  Bourgeois hailed her twice, but receiving no reply,
fired a musket which he found at the gangway.  This was returned, but
the intrepid fellow, hastening to the captain's cabin, where he found
twenty loaded muskets, discharged them in quick succession, when,
greatly to his satisfaction, the boat pulled away.  After he had been on
board an hour, he discovered three of his shipmates insensible from
drink on the lower-deck.  A short time after this three of the
_Tourville's_ boats, with a young midshipman, who now took the command,
returned on board the _Ocean_, and he and the brave quartermaster
prepared to defend their ship to the last.  Fortunately for them, the
English, not aware of what had happened, did not attack her, or she
would undoubtedly have been added to the list of the French ships
destroyed on the occasion Lord Cochrane still remained with the gun
brigs, and the _Pallas_, Captain Seymour, her commander, having
gallantly decided on rendering him assistance.  At 8 a.m. on the 13th of
April he despatched the brigs and mortar-vessel to attack the ships
still aground.  The _Etna_ unfortunately split her mortar, and the other
vessels could do the enemy but little harm.  A strong wind and tide
prevented the _Imperieuse_ and _Pallas_ from taking a part in the
attack.  At noon five other small vessels were sent in by Lord Gambier,
who wrote to Lord Cochrane giving him leave to attack the _Ocean_, but
observing that there was little prospect of success, and desiring to see
him as soon as possible.  Lord Cochrane replied, "We can destroy the
ships which are on shore, which I hope your lordship will approve of."
The _Imperieuse_, therefore, remained until the next day, when Lord
Gambier, finding that Lord Cochrane would not quit his post as long as
he had a shadow of discretionary authority, superseded him in the
command of the fire-ships by Captain Wolfe, observing, "I wish you to
join me as soon as possible, that you may convey Sir Harry Neale to
England, who will be charged with my despatches."  The _Imperieuse_,
therefore, proceeded to Basque Roads, where Lord Cochrane had a
disagreeable interview with the admiral, who insinuated that he desired
to take all the merit of the service to himself.  On his arrival in
England Lord Cochrane, who had now a seat in Parliament, gave notice
that he should oppose the vote of thanks about to be proposed to Lord
Gambier.  On hearing this Lord Gambier, on his arrival, demanded a
court-martial.  The evidence of Captain Pulteney Malcolm was much in
favour of Lord Cochrane, but the other witnesses supported Lord Gambier,
and sentence was pronounced, honourably acquitting him of all blame.
From that day Lord Cochrane's prospect of success in the navy was
destroyed.  Though attempts were made by Lord Mulgrave to bribe him
over, he refused to abandon what he considered his duty to his
constituents and the country.  The vote of thanks to Lord Gambier was
carried by a majority of 161 to 39.

The following year, when Crocker, secretary to the Admiralty, brought
forward the navy estimates, Lord Cochrane moved an address for certain
returns relating to pensions on the civil list, contrasting them with
pensions to naval officers; remarking in the course of his speech, "An
admiral, when superannuated, has 410 pounds a-year, a captain 210
pounds, while a clerk of the ticket-office retires on 700 pounds a-year.
Four daughters of the gallant Captain Courtenay, who was killed in
action with the enemy when commanding the _Boston_, have 12 pounds, 10
shillings each; the daughters of Admiral Sir A. Mitchel and Admiral
Hepworth have each 25 pounds; Admiral Keppel's daughter, 24 pounds; the
daughter of Captain Mann, who was killed in action, 25 pounds; and four
children of Admiral Moriarty, 25 pounds each.  Thus thirteen daughters
of admirals and captains, several of whose fathers fell in the service
of their country, receive from the gratitude of the nation a sum in the
aggregate less than Dame Mary Sexton, the widow of a commissioner."

Remarking on the pension list, he observed, "Captain Johnstone receives
45 pounds 12 shillings for the loss of an arm; Lieutenants Harding and
Lawson, 91 pounds, 5 shillings each for a similar loss; Lieutenant
Campbell, 40 pounds for the loss of a leg; and Lieutenant Chambers, RM,
80 pounds for the loss of both legs--while Sir Andrew Hammond retires on
a pension of 1500 pounds per annum."

Amongst the most renowned exploits of the navy is that of the capture of
Curacoa.  It having been reported to Vice-Admiral Dacres, then
commander-in-chief on the Jamaica station, that the inhabitants of the
island of Curacoa wished to ally themselves to Great Britain, he
despatched the _Arethusa_, 38-gun frigate, commanded by Captain Charles
Brisbane, accompanied by the _Latona_, also of 38 guns, Captain Wood,
and the _Anson_, 44 guns, Captain Lydiard.  These, when close to the
island, were joined by the _Fisgard_, of 38 guns, Captain Bolton.
Captain Brisbane, suspecting that the governor and the troops
garrisoning the strong forts would not be willing to yield them up as
the inhabitants might desire, without waiting to enter into diplomatic
negotiations, determined at once to run into the harbour of Saint Anne,
the capital of the island, and to invite the authorities to yield under
the muzzles of his guns.  A favourable wind, which sprang up on the last
day of the year 1806, gave him hopes of being able to carry out his
project.  On New-Year's Eve it was known that every true Dutchman would
indulge in extra potations, and that by getting in at daylight, before
the garrison had regained their senses, there would be every probability
of catching them unprepared.  Excellent arrangements were made; each
frigate had her allotted station, and the larger portion of her crew was
divided into storming parties, under their respective officers.  The
master, with the remainder of the hands, being left in charge of the
ship.  Each was to wear a distinctive badge, so that they might know
each other during the fighting.  The difficulties to be encountered were
of no light description.  The harbour, only fifty fathoms wide, was
defended by regular fortifications; one, Fort Amsterdam, on the right of
the entrance, mounting sixty guns in two tiers.  On the opposite side
was a chain of forts, and at the farther end an almost impregnable
fortress, called Fort Republique, enfilading it almost within grape-shot
distance.  Besides these defences, a 36-gun frigate, a 20-gun corvette,
and two large armed schooners lay athwart the harbour, which nowhere
exceeds a quarter-of-a-mile in width.

At daylight the _Arethusa_ leading, with a flag of truce at the fore,
followed by the other three frigates, entered the port, receiving as she
did so a warm fire from the Dutch, who, however, only at that instant
aroused out of their beds, took but bad aim.  In a few minutes the wind
beaded the frigates, but shifting again, they stood on, and took up
their stations in favourable positions, with their broadsides bearing on
the Dutch forts and ships.  So close in were the frigates that the
_Arethusa's_ jib-boom was over the wall of the town.  Captain Brisbane
now sent a summons to the governor, to the effect that the British
squadron had come to protect, not to conquer the inhabitants, but that
if a shot was fired, he should immediately storm the batteries.  He
wisely gave the governor but five minutes to make up his mind.
Receiving no answer, Captain Brisbane ordered the ships to open their
broadside, when each having fired three, he and Captain Lydiard boarded
and carried the frigate and corvette.  This done, they proceeded to
storm Fort Amsterdam, which, though strongly garrisoned, was carried in
about ten minutes, one party breaking open the sea-gate with crowbars,
while another escaladed the walls.  The citadel of the town, and several
other forts, were carried with equal celerity.  A fire was next opened
upon Fort Republique, and preparations were made to attack it in the
rear with a body of 300 seamen and marines, but so completely confounded
were the garrison by the suddenness of the assault that, though they
might have effectually resisted, and possibly blown the British ships
out of the water, they yielded without firing a shot, and a little after
10 a.m. the British flag was hoisted on their walls.  Two hours later
the island of Curacoa capitulated, and was taken possession of by the

During this brilliant morning's work the total loss of the English
amounted to only 3 killed and 14 wounded, chiefly in the capture of the
ships; and the Dutch lost 5 killed and 8 wounded, besides nearly 200 men
killed and wounded on shore.

Many other gallant actions were fought between light squadrons and
single ships, and numerous cutting-out expeditions in boats were
successfully undertaken.  During these years the British line-of-battle
ships attained a size far greater than had existed at any preceding
period.  The _Caledonia_, though ordered as far back as the year 1794,
did not begin building till January, 1805, and was launched on the 25th
of June, 1808.  Though originally intended to carry only 100 guns, she
was altered to a 120-gun ship, her draught being prepared by Sir William
Rule, one of the surveyors of the navy.  Her length on the lower
gun-deck from the rabbet of the stem to the rabbet of the stern-post was
205 feet; her extreme breadth 53 feet 8 inches; her depth of hold 23
feet 2 inches; and she was of 2615 tons burden.  Her net complement,
including marines and boys, was 891.  She was, and continued to be, the
finest three-decker in the service.  She excelled in all essential
qualities, rode easy at her anchors, carried her lee-ports well, rolled
and pitched quite easy, steered, worked, and stayed remarkably well, was
a weatherly ship, and lay to very close, close-hauled under whole or
single reefed top-sails.  She went nine knots, and under all large sail
eleven knots.

She was followed by the _Nelson_, of the same size, the _Britannia_,
built at Plymouth, and the _Prince Regent_ at Chatham.  Two others of a
somewhat similar size were subsequently added, the _London_, built at
Plymouth, and the _Princess Charlotte_ at Portsmouth, in the year 1813.

The prizes captured during the year 1807 nearly doubled that of any
other period.  At the same time, the losses sustained by the navy were
greater than had ever before occurred, amounting to no less than 38
ships.  Of these, no fewer than 29 foundered at sea or were wrecked, a
large proportion of their crews perishing with them.  The navy of
England had, however, greatly increased.  At the commencement of 1815
she possessed 124 line-of-battle ships, averaging each 1830 tons;
whereas at the end of the previous century, they averaged only 1645
tons.  If we take a glance back to a still more distant period, we shall
judge better of the enormous progress made during the last two
centuries.  In the year 1641 the navy of England consisted of 42 ships,
the aggregate tonnage of which was 22,411 tons.  At the period of which
we are writing it amounted to 966,000 tons, and within fifty years of
that period, Scott Russell launched in the Thames one vessel of 22,500
tons, being in excess by 89 tons of the whole British fleet at the time
of Charles the First.  At that period about 8000 men were considered
sufficient to man the navy, while in 1814, 146,000 men were voted; the
navy estimates amounted to 18,786,509 pounds, and the burden of 901
ships amounted to 966,000 tons.

England, taught by the loss of several frigates captured by American
ships of the same class, though vastly superior in size, began to
construct frigates to compete with her foes.  Three small-class
seventy-fours, the _Majestic, Goliath_, and _Saturn_, were cut-down so
as to retain their main-deck batteries, on which they were armed with 28
long 32-pounders, while on their lower-decks they received an equal
number of 42-pounder carronades, besides two long 12-pounders as
chase-guns; making 58 guns on two flush-decks, with a net complement of
495 men and boys.  They thus, though denominated frigates, possessed a
slightly increased weight of metal in broadsides to that which they
before carried.  It was hoped that with the aid of black hammock-cloths
thrown over the waist of the barricade, they would be so disguised as to
tempt any large American frigates they might fall in with to come down
and engage.  Such ships would have been more than a match for the
heaviest of the American 44-gun frigates.  They were in reality
two-decked ships, but, as it turned out, they had no opportunity of
proving their powers with any of the vessels with which they were
intended to cope.

Several other fine 50-gun frigates were built; the _Endymion, Glasgow_,
and _Liverpool, Forth, Liffey_, and _Severn_ the three latter of fir,
and the two before-mentioned of pitch-pine; the chief complaint made of
them being that their quarters were rather confined.  They had a
complement of 350 men and boys.  Other smaller frigates were constructed
for economy's sake of yellow pine, most of them carrying medium
24-pounders, with a complement of 330 men and boys.  To the British Navy
were also added two classes of sloops of war; the largest, of about 430
tons, mounted 18 32-pounder carronades on the main-deck, and 6, 12, or
18-pounder carronades on the quarter-deck and forecastle, with two long
sixes, making a total of 26 guns, with 121 men and boys.  The
second-class was the 18-gun brig-sloop.  Another class of ship-sloops or
corvettes were fitted out for sea while Sir Joseph Yorke was First Lord
of the Admiralty, having a flush-deck, and carrying 18 32-pounder
carronades and two long nines.  They were fitted with stern chase-ports,
but from the narrowness of their sterns there was no room to work the
tiller, while the guns were pointed from the ports.  They were defective
also in having their masts too slight, while they were in other respects
heavily rigged.  The worst vessels, however, constructed at a later
period, were the 10-gun brigs of war, small, narrow craft, so low
between decks that the unfortunate commander, if a tall man, had to
stand up, with his head through the skylight, and his looking-glass on
deck, to shave himself.  For many years commanders were appointed to
them with a crew of upwards of 100 men, two lieutenants, and other
gun-room officers, as well as midshipmen, whose berth measured seven
feet by five.  Being excessively crank, the greater number foundered,
and gained for the class the unenviable title of "sea-coffins."  They
and frigates carrying 28 guns, generally known in the service by the
name of "jackass-frigates," were the worst class of vessels belonging of
late years to the British Navy.  They existed, however, till steam power
and the screw propeller caused those that had escaped destruction to be
broken up or sold out of the service.  For some years previously,
however, the 10-gun brigs were commanded by lieutenants, with, of
course, reduced crews.


A.D. 1840.

Much indignation had long been felt by the people of the United States
in consequence of Great Britain claiming the right of searching neutral
vessels for deserters from our ships.  There existed, also, among them
another cause of annoyance.  It was this, that while the rest of the
world were at war, the Americans had enjoyed the advantage of being the
carriers for other powers, and that Napoleon, in the hope of crippling
England, had declared all neutral vessels that had touched at any of her
home or colonial ports liable to confiscation, thus virtually putting a
stop to the commerce of the United States.  Instead of complaining of
France, the Americans put the blame on England, and hoped by going to
war with her to regain the carrying trade they had lost.  England had,
besides, given great provocation as far back as the year 1807, when a
small squadron of British ships was stationed off the American coast.
Several men having deserted from the different ships, some of them were
received on board the United States frigate _Chesapeake_.  Hearing of
the occurrence, the admiral at Halifax despatched the 50-gun frigate
_Leopard_, commanded by Captain Humphries, with orders to the captains
of any of the ships should they fall in with the _Chesapeake_ without
the limits of the United States to insist on searching her for
deserters.  Having delivered her despatches, the _Leopard_ was lying
with the rest of the squadron, when the _Chesapeake_, which was at
anchor in Hampton Roads, put to sea on her way to the Mediterranean.  On
this, the _Leopard_ received orders from the British commodore, to make
sail in chase of her.  Captain Humphries, shortly afterwards, falling in
with the _Chesapeake_, hailed to say that he had a message from the
British commander-in-chief.  To this the American commodore, Barron,
replied, "Send it on board--I will heave to."  On the arrival of the
_Leopard's_ lieutenant on board the _Chesapeake_, Commodore Barron
declared that he had no such men on board as were described.  On the
lieutenant's return, Captain Humphries again hailed the _Chesapeake_,
and receiving unsatisfactory answers, observing also indications of
intended resistance on board the American frigate, he ordered a shot to
be fired across her forefoot.  At intervals of two minutes he fired
others, but evasive answers only being returned, and it being evident
that the object of Commodore Barron was only to gain time, the _Leopard_
opened her fire in earnest.  After she had discharged three broadsides
at the American frigate the latter hauled down her colours, having only
returned a few guns.  On this a lieutenant from the _Chesapeake_ came on
board the _Leopard_ with a verbal message from Commodore Barron
signifying that he considered his ship to be the _Leopard's_ prize.
Without undertaking to receive her as such, Captain Humphries sent two
of his lieutenants, with several petty officers and men, on board the
_Chesapeake_ to search for the deserters, and the crew being mustered,
one of them, who was dragged out of the coal-hole, Jenkin Ratford, was
recognised as a deserter from the _Halifax_.  Three others were found,
who had deserted from the _Melampus_, and about twelve more from various
British ships of war.  The first four, however, alone were carried on
board the _Leopard_, when Commodore Barron again offered to deliver up
his frigate as a prize; to this Captain Humphries replied that, having
fulfilled his instructions, he had nothing more to desire, but must
proceed to his destination.  He, however, expressed his regret at having
been compelled to attack him, and offered all the assistance in his
power.  The _Chesapeake_ had indeed suffered severely from the
broadsides of the _Leopard_, twenty-two shot being lodged in her hull,
while her masts and rigging were greatly damaged.  She had lost three
seamen killed, while the commodore, one midshipman, and sixteen seamen
and marines were wounded.  Though nearly a hundred tons larger than the
_Leopard_, and carrying a greater weight of shot, while her crew
numbered fifty men more, she was almost unprepared for battle, so that
no imputation could be cast on Commodore Barron for not continuing the

On arriving at Halifax the unfortunate Jenkin Ratford was found guilty
of mutiny and desertion, and was hanged at the foreyard-arm of the ship
from which he had deserted.  The other men, though found guilty of
desertion, were pardoned.

This untoward event was the cause of protracted diplomatic negotiations.
Every apology was offered to the United States; and England gave up all
claim to the right of searching men-of-war of other nations for
deserters.  About three years afterwards the British frigate _Guerrier_
impressed out of an American merchant-vessel a man named Deguyo, said to
be a citizen of the United States, and shortly afterwards two other
native Americans in the belief that they all three were English
subjects.  At this time the 44-gun frigate _President_, belonging to the
United States, lay moored in the Chesapeake.  On receiving directions
from his government, Commodore Rogers, who took the command, put to sea
in search of the _Guerrier_ on the 12th of May, 1811.  Soon after noon
of the 16th, from the mast-head of the _President_, a ship was descried
standing towards her under a press of sail, which Commodore Rogers at
once concluded was the frigate _Guerrier_.  The stranger was, however,
the British ship-sloop _Little Belt_, mounting 18 32-pounder carronades,
and 2 long nines, with a crew of 120 men and boys, commanded by Captain
Bingham, who at the same time made out the _President_.  Captain
Bingham, finding her signals unanswered, felt assured that the stranger
was an American frigate, and continued his course round Cape Hatteras.
By the time the evening was closing in, the _President_ was up to her
Captain Bingham hailed, asking, "What ship is that?"  Commodore Rogers
merely repeated the question.  At that instant a gun was fired from the
_President_, as was afterwards alleged, by chance.  On this the _Little
Belt_ fired, and a furious action commenced, which lasted upwards of
half-an-hour, with a short intermission.  The after-sail of the _Little
Belt_ being shot away, and her rigging much damaged, she fell off, so
that, being unable to bring her guns to bear on her antagonist, she
ceased firing.  Commodore Rogers again hailed, when he received answer
that the vessel he had attacked was a British ship of war, but, owing to
the freshness of the breeze, he did not hear her name.  During this
short engagement her masts and yards were badly wounded, and her rigging
cut to pieces, while her hull was severely injured.  She had lost a
midshipman and 10 men killed or mortally wounded, and 21 wounded; while
the _President_ had only one boy wounded, and her rigging and masts but
slightly injured.  The _President_ now hove to to leeward during the
night, while the _Little Belt_ was employed in stopping her leaks and
repairing damages.  Next morning the first lieutenant of the _President_
came on board, expressing Commodore Rogers' regret at the unfortunate
affair, and stating that had he known the size of the British ship he
would not have fired into her.  Captain Bingham inquired why he had
fired at all; on which the lieutenant replied that the _Little Belt_ had
fired first.  Captain Bingham denied this, and the subject was long a
matter of dispute--though there can be no doubt that one of the
_President's_ guns went off, possibly by chance, and that Captain
Bingham lost no time in replying to it.  That Captain Bingham's conduct
was considered most gallant was proved by his being immediately promoted
to post-rank.

The following year the United States unhappily declared war against
Great Britain.  The American government had previously laid an embargo
upon all their national ships and vessels during a space of ninety days,
so that when war broke out on the 18th of June a large number of
fast-sailing-vessels of all sizes were ready to issue forth as
privateers; while Commodore Rogers, in command of the squadron,
consisting of the _President_, _United States_, and _Congress_ frigates,
and two brigs of war, sailed in hopes of capturing a fleet of above 100
homeward-bound Jamaica men, known to be off the coast, under the convoy
of a single frigate and brig.  Fortunately for the merchant-vessels,
Commodore Rogers discovered the British frigate _Belvidera_, of 36 guns,
18-pounders, commanded by Captain Byron, standing towards him.  Captain
Byron, having ascertained the character of the American squadron, tacked
and made sail, not so much to escape as to lead the enemy to a distance
from their expected prey.  By consummate seamanship and gallantry, he
kept them employed, carrying on a spirited action with his two long
18-pounders run through his stern-ports, and the two 32-pounder
carronades on his quarter-deck, greatly galling the _President_, and
afterwards the _Congress_, when that frigate got near enough to open her
fire.  So successfully did he manoeuvre, that after leading his pursuers
a long chase, he escaped from them and got into Halifax.  The
_Belvidera_ lost altogether 3 killed and 22 wounded.  The _President_,
which was cut up in her rigging, lost 2 midshipmen and a marine killed,
and 22 officers and men wounded; while the Jamaica convoy reached
England in safety.

The war between England and her former dependencies had now commenced in
earnest.  Since their independence, the United States had taken pains to
construct an efficient, though small navy.  Aware that it would be
useless to attempt building line-of-battle ships to compete with the
fleets of Europe, they had turned their attention to the construction of
frigates, to act as ocean cruisers, of a size and armament capable of
contending successfully with any possessed by England, or indeed any
other maritime power.  The result proved the wisdom and forethought of
their naval authorities.  Their most famed frigates were the
_Constitution_, the _United States_, and _President_.  The other two
were of the same size and force as the latter vessel.  The _President_
measured 1533 tons: her sides and bulwarks were thicker, and her spars
and rigging stouter than those of a British 74-gun ship, while she
sailed admirably.  She was pierced for 56 guns, but only mounted 52, of
which 32 were long 24-pounders, and 20 42-pounders, her complement being
480 men.  The other two mounted 54 guns, and the _Constitution_ carried
32 instead of 42-pounder carronades.

On the 18th the _Constitution_, Captain Hull, then cruising off the Gulf
of Saint Lawrence, having heard from an American privateer that a
British ship of war was at a short distance to the southward,
immediately made sail in that direction.  The ship of which Captain Hull
had heard was the British frigate _Guerrier_, commanded by Captain
Dacres, an officer of known talent and gallantry.  She carried 48 guns,
including 30 long 18-pounders on the main-deck, 16 carronades,
32-pounders, and 2 long nines on her quarter-deck and forecastle.  She
measured under 1100 tons, and though her regular complement was 300 men
and boys, she was nearly 40 men short.  Seeing the _Constitution_
approaching, at 4:30 p.m. on the 19th the _Guerrier_ laid her
main-topsail to the mast, to enable her the more quickly to close.  She
then hoisted an English ensign at the peak, another at the
mizzen-topgallant mast-head, and the Union Jack at the fore, and at 4:50
opened her starboard broadside at the _Constitution_.  The American
frigate being admirably manoeuvred, her heavy shot in a short time began
to tell with destructive effect on the English frigate.  The
_Guerrier's_ mizzen-mast was soon carried away, as it fell, knocking a
large hole in the counter, and by dragging in the water, brought the
ship up in the wind--thus enabling the _Constitution_ to place herself
on the _Guerrier's_ larboard bow, in which position she opened a
destructive fire of great guns and small-arms on the British frigate,
who could only return it with her bow-guns.  The riflemen in the
_Constitution's_ tops continued firing all the time with unerring aim.
Captain Dacres was severely wounded, as were several of his officers.
At length the _Guerrier's_ foremast and mizzen-mast were carried over
the side, leaving a defenceless wreck, rolling her main-deck guns in the
water.  From the rotten state of her breachings, many of her guns broke
loose, but still Captain Dacres, having cleared away the wreck of his
masts, continued the action, till the _Constitution_, having rove new
braces, took up a position within pistol-shot of the _Guerrier's_
starboard-quarter.  Finding his ship utterly unmanageable, to prevent
further sacrifice of life, Captain Dacres at 6:45 hauled down the Union
Jack from the stump of the mizzen-mast, the only stick he had standing.
The _Guerrier_ in this desperate action lost 15 men killed and 63
wounded, 6 of the latter mortally; while the _Constitution_, out of her
468 men and boys, lost 7 killed and about double that number more or
less wounded.  Though the Americans might well be gratified at the
result of the action, the English had no cause to be ashamed at the loss
of the _Guerrier_ to a ship the weight of whose broadside was nearly
one-half heavier than that of her own, especially when a considerable
number of the _Constitution's_ crew were English seamen, and all had
been carefully trained.

On the 25th of October the _Macedonian_, a frigate of the same size as
the _Guerrier_, was captured by the _United States_, a frigate in all
respects similar to the _Constitution_.  Commodore Decatur, commanding
the _United States_, used every effort to induce the crew of the
captured frigate to enter the American service, though, to the credit of
British seamen, the band alone, who were foreigners, and three or four
others, said to be Americans, yielded to his persuasions.

The third British frigate, also of the size and force of the two
preceding ones, captured by the Americans was the _Java_, taken by the
_Constitution_, on the 29th of September.  The _Java_ was originally the
French frigate _Renommee_, and had been commissioned at Portsmouth by
Captain Lambert to carry out Lieutenant-General John Hislop, the
governor of Bombay.  Her crew, hurriedly got together, were inefficient
in the extreme.  They consisted of 60 raw Irishmen, 50 mutinous fellows
sent from on board the _Coquette_, a body of 50 marines, several of whom
were recruits, while the prison-ships and press-gangs furnished a large
portion of the remainder.  Exclusive of the petty officers, the best of
the crew consisted of eight seamen, who were allowed to volunteer from
the _Rodney_, indeed, scarcely fifty of the whole ship's company had
ever been in action, while the ship herself was hurriedly fitted out,
lumbered up with stores, and scarcely in a condition to put to sea.
Meeting with a succession of heavy gales, it was not till the 28th
December that Captain Lambert had an opportunity of exercising his men
at firing the guns, when the _Java_ fired six broadsides with blank
cartridges, the first the greater number of his crew had ever
discharged.  While steering for Saint Salvador to obtain water, early
the following morning, the _Java_ sighted the _Constitution_, and made
sail in chase.  Standing to the wind, which was very fresh, the _Java_
rapidly gained on her, and at length the two ships being within
half-a-mile of each other, the _Constitution_ fired her larboard
broadside, which the _Java_ waited to return till she got considerably
nearer, when she fired her broadside, every shot of which took effect.
The untrained British crew lost soon after this an opportunity of raking
their powerful antagonist.  Most gallantly Captain Lambert fought his
ship, and his rigging being cut to pieces and masts injured, with
several officers and men killed and wounded, he determined to board his
antagonist as affording the best chance of success.  His bowsprit,
however, catching the starboard mizzen-rigging of the _Constitution_,
his ship was brought up to the wind, and he lost the opportunity both of
raking her or boarding.  While in this position, Captain Lambert fell
mortally wounded, when the command devolved on Lieutenant Henry Chads.
The _Constitution_ getting clear, had now the _Java_ at her mercy.
Still, animated by their officers, her crew, bad as they were, worked
energetically at their guns, and seeing the _Constitution_ standing off
to repair damages, cheered under the belief that she was taking to
flight.  After the action had lasted rather more than three hours, the
_Constitution_ placing herself so as to rake the dismasted _Java_,
Lieutenant Chads ordered the colours to be lowered from the stump of the
mizzen-mast, and the frigate was taken possession of by the victor.  The
whole of the _Java's_ boats, and all except one of the _Constitution's_,
were knocked to pieces.  The operation of conveying the prisoners on
board the American frigate occupied a considerable time.  As soon as it
was accomplished, the _Java_, being much shattered was set on fire.
Though the Americans behaved civilly to the British officers, the crew
complained bitterly of being handcuffed and otherwise severely treated.
The _Java_ had her captain, 3 masters' mates, 2 midshipmen, and I
supernumerary clerk killed, and 17 seamen and marines, and 102 officers
and men wounded, among whom was her gallant first lieutenant.

Several brig-sloops and other small craft were also captured during the
war by the Americans, who had every reason to be proud of the gallantry
displayed by their seamen.  Success, however, did not always attend on
the "star-spangled banner," and, as was natural, the captains of the
British 38-gun frigates were eager to fall in with one of the famed
American forty-fours.  Among others, Captain Philip Vere Broke,
commanding the _Shannon_ frigate, resolved, if possible, to show what a
well-disciplined crew could do.  He had from the time he had been
appointed to her, several years before, diligently exercised his crew in
gunnery, so that those who knew him and his ship's company felt
confident of his success.  The following lines, written soon after the
commencement of the war, prove this:--

  "And as the war they did provoke,
  We'll pay them with our cannon;
  The first to do it will be Broke,
  In the gallant ship the _Shannon_."

The following song well describes the far-famed action:--

  The "Chesapeake" and the "Shannon."

  At Boston one day, as the _Chesapeake_ lay,
  The captain, his crew thus began on:
  See that ship out at sea, she our prize soon shall be;
  'Tis the tight little frigate the _Shannon_.
  Oh, 'twill be a good joke
  To take Commodore Broke,
  And add to our navy the _Shannon_.

  Then he made a great bluster, calling all hands to muster,
  And said, Now boys, stand firm to your cannon;
  Let us get under weigh without further delay,
  And capture the insolent _Shannon_.
  Within two hours' space
  We'll return to this place,
  And bring into harbour the _Shannon_.

  Now alongside they range, and broadsides they exchange,
  But the Yankees soon flinch from their cannon;
  When the captain and crew, without further ado,
  Are attacked, sword in hand, from the _Shannon_.
  The brave commodore of the _Shannon_
  Fired a friendly salute
  Just to end the dispute,
  And the _Chesapeake_ struck to the _Shannon_.

  Let America know the respect she should show
  To our national flag and our cannon;
  And let her take heed that the Thames and the Tweed
  Give us tars just as brave as the _Shannon_.
  Here's to Commodore Broke of the _Shannon_;
  May the olive of peace
  Soon bid enmity cease
  From the _Chesapeake_ shore to the _Shannon_.

In March, 1813, Captain Broke sailed from Halifax in company with the
_Tenedos_, Captain Hyde Parker.  Captain Broke, finding that the
_Constitution_ and _Chesapeake_ were in Boston Harbour, the former
undergoing considerable repairs, sent Captain Parker away, in hopes that
the latter would come out and fight him.  The _Chesapeake_ was at this
time commanded by a gallant officer, Captain Lawrence.  Although Captain
Broke captured several prizes, rather than weaken his crew, he destroyed
them all, while he remained off the port waiting for the expected
encounter.  At length, having waited till the 1st of June, Captain Broke
addressed a letter of challenge to Captain Lawrence, which begins: "As
the _Chesapeake_ appears now ready for sea, I request you will do me the
favour to meet the _Shannon_ with her, ship to ship, to try the fortune
of our respective flags;" and added, "You will feel it as a compliment
if I say, that the result of our meeting may be the most grateful
service I can render to my country; and I doubt not that you, equally
confident of success, will feel convinced that it is only by repeated
triumphs in `even combats' that your little navy can now hope to console
your country for the loss of that trade it can no longer protect."

The _Shannon_, having stood in close to Boston Lighthouse, with colours
flying, lay to, when the _Chesapeake_ was seen at anchor.  She shortly
afterwards, under all sail, stood out of the harbour, accompanied by
numerous yachts and a schooner gunboat, with several American naval
officers on board.  At half-past five in the afternoon the _Chesapeake_,
with a large flag flying, on which was inscribed the words, "Sailor's
rights and free trade," approached the _Shannon_, and soon afterwards,
luffing up within about fifty yards of her starboard-quarter, gave three
cheers.  At 5:50 p.m. the _Shannon's_ aftermost main-deck gun was fired,
and the two combatants exchanged broadsides.  The _Chesapeake_, however,
coming sharply up to the wind, in consequence of all the men at her helm
being killed, was exposed to a shot from the _Shannon's_ aftermost gun,
which took a diagonal direction along her decks, beating in her
stern-ports and sweeping the men from their quarters.  The _Shannon's_
foremost guns also did considerable damage.  In a few minutes the
_Chesapeake_ fell on board the _Shannon_, when Captain Broke, ordering
the two ships to be lashed together, called away the main-deck boarders,
and, followed by about twenty men, sprang on to her quarter-deck, which
had been completely deserted.  The British were, however, encountered on
the gangways by some twenty-five or thirty Americans, who made but
slight resistance, and being driven towards the forecastle, endeavoured
to escape down the fore-hatchway, while others plunged overboard.  The
remainder threw down their arms and submitted.  During this time the
boarders were exposed to a destructive fire from the main and
mizzen-tops, which continued till the main-top was gallantly stormed by
a midshipman, William Smith, and five topmen.  Having made their way
along the _Shannon's_ foreyard on to that of the _Chesapeake's_
main-yard, another midshipman, Mr Cosnahan, climbing up on the
starboard main-yard, fired at the Americans in the mizzen-top, when he
compelled them to yield.  Captain Broke, at the moment of victory, was
nearly killed, having been cut-down by one of three Americans, who,
after they had yielded, seized some arms and attacked their victors.
The Americans, also, who had fled to the hold, opened a fire of
musketry, which killed a marine.  A still more unfortunate accident
occurred; the _Shannon's_ first lieutenant, Mr Watt, after being
severely wounded, was in the act of hoisting the English flag, when the
halliards getting entangled, the American ensign went up first, and,
observing this, the _Shannon's_ people reopened their fire, and he and
several of those around him were killed before the mistake was
rectified.  Captain Broke, who had been assisted to a carronade slide,
directed Lieutenant Faulkner to summon the Americans in the hold to give
in if they expected quarter.  They shouted out, "We surrender," and all
opposition ceased.  From the moment the first gun was fired till Captain
Broke led his boarders on the deck of the _Chesapeake_, only eleven
minutes elapsed, and in four minutes more she was his.  Including the
first lieutenant, her purser, and captain's clerk, the _Shannon_ lost 24
killed and 59 wounded, two of these, her boatswain and one midshipman
mortally; while the _Chesapeake_ lost 47 killed, among whom was her
fourth lieutenant, her master, one lieutenant of marines, and 3
midshipmen, and 14 mortally wounded, including her brave commander, and
his first lieutenant, and 99 wounded.  Other accounts state that the
killed and wounded amounted to nearly 170.  Among the 325 prisoners
taken on board the _Chesapeake_, above 32 were British seamen.  Several
of the _Shannon's_ men recognised old shipmates among their foes, and
one of the former, when boarding, was about to cut-down an enemy, when
he was stopped by the cry, "What! you Bill!"

"What!  Jack!"

"Ay, Bill, but it won't do--so here goes," and the poor fellow sprang
overboard, and was drowned, rather than meet the fate which might have
been his lot, as he had deserted from the _Shannon_ a few months before.

The two frigates were pretty equally matched, there being a slight
superiority only in favour of the _Chesapeake_, which was 31 tons
larger, and had a crew of fully 70 more men.  The gallant Captain
Lawrence and his first lieutenant, Augustus Ludlow, died of their
wounds, the former on the passage to Halifax, the latter on his arrival,
and were buried there with all the honours their victors could bestow.
Their remains were shortly afterwards removed in a cartel to the United

Passing over a number of actions between smaller vessels, in which
sometimes the English and at others the Americans were the victors, a
celebrated combat in the Pacific between two frigates, the American
being the smallest, must be mentioned.  In October, 1822, the United
States 32-gun frigate _Essex_, commanded by Captain David Porter, sailed
from Delaware Bay on a cruise in the Pacific.  Having captured several
whale-ships, he named one of them the _Essex Junior_, and having visited
the Marquesas, where he exhibited his prowess against the natives, he
reached Valparaiso about the 12th of January, 1814.  The British 36-gun
frigate _Phoebe_, Captain James Hillyar, with the 18-gun ship-sloop
_Cherub_, Captain Tucker, which vessels had sailed in search of him,
standing towards Valparaiso, on the 8th of February discovered the
American cruisers, with several prizes at anchor in the harbour.  For a
couple of weeks or more Captain Hillyar did his best to draw the
American ships out of the port.  Captain Porter, however, had considered
that his most prudent course was to attempt to escape, and he and his
consort were on the point of doing so, a strong wind blowing out of the
harbour, when the _Essex_ was struck by a squall, which carried away her
main-topmast.  She accordingly bore up and anchored, while the _Essex
Junior_ ran back into the harbour.  The _Phoebe_ and _Cherub_ made sail
towards them.  The former at length got near enough to open her fire.
Captain Hillyar now ordered Captain Tucker to keep under way, while he
himself stood in closer with the intention of anchoring close to the
_Essex_.  The latter ship now cut her cable, and endeavoured to run on
shore, but the strong wind from the land blew her off towards the
_Phoebe_, and she had again to let go an anchor.  By this time most of
her boats were destroyed.  The three boats from the _Essex Junior_ were
alongside, carrying off the specie and other valuables in the ship.
Those of her crew who were English taking the opportunity of escaping, a
report was raised at this juncture that the ship was on fire, and a
number of her men leaped overboard during the confusion.  At about 6:30
p.m. the _Essex_ hauled down her flags, and the boats of the _Phoebe_,
pulling for her, saved the lives of 16 of her crew who were in the
water, though too late to rescue 30 others who perished; while between
30 and 40 reached the shore.  The _Phoebe_ lost 5 killed and 10 wounded,
and the Americans 24 killed, including one of the lieutenants, and 45
wounded.  As soon as the _Essex_ could be repaired, the command of her
being given to Lieutenant Charles Pearson, she and the _Phoebe_ sailed
for England, and anchored safely in Plymouth Sound, although Captain
Porter had stated that the damage she had received would prevent her
making the voyage.  Of the prizes she had taken, not one reached the
States, all having been recaptured, with the exception of three, which
were burnt by the Americans, and one, the _Seringapatam_, the American
prize-crew of which mutinied and carried her to New South Wales, whence
she was brought to England and delivered to her former owners; while the
_Essex_ herself was placed on the list of the British Navy.  Those who
have read the journals of Captain Porter's cruise in the Pacific will
feel very little pity for him on account of its result.

This miserable war, proved, on the whole, disastrous to the Americans.
The ships of the English squadron on their coasts were employed in
sailing up their rivers, destroying their towns, as also in despatching
numerous boat expeditions to cut out their merchantmen, and to attack
the gunboats prepared for the defence of their harbours.  At the same
time, both parties fitted out flotillas on the great lakes, where a
number of engagements, often with heavy losses on either side, occurred.
The principal British officer employed in this service was Sir James
Yeo, who was sent with a small body of seamen to man the ships on these
fresh-water seas.  Some of these vessels were of large size; one named
the _Prince Regent_ measured 1310 tons, and carried 58 guns, with a
complement of 485 men and boys.  Another, the _Princess Charlotte_,
measured 815 tons, and carried 42 guns.  The larger number of vessels,
however, were of much smaller size.  The Americans had also several
powerful vessels, and before the close of the war they had actually
begun to build one 74 and a frigate, to vie with a ship built by the
English called the _Saint Lawrence_, of 2305 tons, and intended to mount
102 guns.  None of these large craft, however, went out of harbour.  The
whole of the gear and stores for these vessels had been brought overland
at a considerable expense, and it was said that the Admiralty sent out a
supply of water-casks, forgetting that their ships were to navigate
fresh-water seas.  To make any of the actions which took place
intelligible, far more space would be required than can be afforded.
Happily, by the end of 1814, this unnatural and ill-advised war was
brought to a conclusion; the Americans finding that although
occasionally victorious, they were in the end greatly the losers.  It
left, however, an amount of ill-feeling between the two nations which
the war of independence had failed to create, and which it took many
years to eradicate--though, happily, at the present time the people of
both countries are too right-minded and enlightened to wish to see a
recurrence of a similar contest, both convinced that it is to their
mutual interest to remain in amity, and to cultivate to the utmost that
good understanding which has for long happily existed.

After the conclusion of the war, the Caribbean Sea was infested by a
number of piratical vessels manned by blacks and desperate characters of
all nations, which committed great havoc among the British merchantmen.
Though several were from time to time captured, the pirates still
continued their depredations.  Bad as they were, some proved themselves
not altogether destitute of humanity.  On one occasion a small vessel,
tender to his majesty's frigate _Tyne_, commanded by Lieutenant Hobson,
with a crew of 20 men, was surprised and captured by a powerful
piratical craft.  The pirates were, according to their usual custom,
about to hang their prisoners; but seized with compunction, or dreading
the consequences of their intended crime, they spared their lives, and
allowed them to return to their ship.  As it happened, the very men who
had acted so humane a part were shortly afterwards captured, and the
circumstance not being taken into consideration in their favour, they
were hanged at Jamaica.  At this time, a desperate character, named
Cayatano Aragonez, commanded a schooner called the _Zaragonaza_, of 120
tons, carrying a long swivel 18-pounder, 4 long 9-pounders, and 8
swivels, with a crew of between 70 and 80 men.  Hearing of the way his
friends had been treated, looking upon it as an ungenerous act, he vowed
to take fearful revenge on all the English he could capture.  Summoning
his men, he bound them under an oath never to spare an Englishman's
life, and in the event of being captured, to blow up themselves and
their enemies.  Some time before, they had taken a black man, a native
of Jamaica, who had been compelled to act as their cook.  In order
thoroughly to commit his crew, Aragonez resolved on the sacrifice of the
hapless negro.  In vain he pleaded for mercy; he was hauled out to the
end of the spritsail-yard, when the miscreants commenced firing at him
from the deck, and thus tortured him for twenty minutes before death put
an end to his sufferings.  Sir Charles Rowley, commander-in-chief in the
West Indies, having determined to put a stop to the exploits of the
pirates, despatched the _Tyne_, under the command of Captain Walcott,
accompanied by the sloop of war _Thracian_, to look out for and destroy
them.  Their chief places of rendezvous were known to be among the
numerous keys or sandy islets off the coast of Cuba.  Captain Walcott,
after for a long time vainly searching for the pirates, was informed by
the master of an American pilot-boat that a schooner supposed to be the
_Zaragonaza_ had been seen cruising off Barracoa, at the east end of
Cuba.  Captain Walcott endeavoured to bribe the American pilot to remain
with him.  He, however, declined the risk, declaring it was impossible
to capture the schooner with boats, and as she was a remarkably fast
sailer, she was sure to escape; should the enterprise not succeed, he
would become known as the informer, and be no longer able to act as
pilot in the Bahama Channel.  This was a disappointment to Captain
Walcott, who knowing that two Spanish men-of-war schooners were cruising
off the coast, and that there were numerous trading schooners of the
same appearance, feared that the pirates would escape.  However, on the
31st of March, the two British ships discovered the vessel of which they
were in search off Barracoa.  Captain Walcott had disguised both ships
as merchant-vessels, and their sails being set in a slovenly manner,
they stood in towards the schooner.  For several hours it was evident
that the pirate did not suspect what they were.  Before, however, they
got up with her, she, setting all sail, steered for the harbour of Mata.
On this the frigate and sloop crowded every stitch of canvas they could
carry in chase.  The wind, however, failed them before they could get up
to the schooner, which, running in to the harbour, at 1:30 p.m., was
seen moored head and stern athwart it, with the Spanish colours flying
aloft.  The entrance of the harbour not being more than a cable's length
in width, even the _Thracian_ could not venture to approach close enough
to attack the schooner.  Captain Walcott, therefore, ordered out the
boats, which carried altogether forty-seven men, and believing that a
desperate resistance would be made, and that should the attack fail the
pirates would slaughter all they might capture, he determined to lead
the expedition himself.  As he shoved off, he desired Commander Roberts
of the _Thracian_ to get as close as possible, so as to render all the
assistance in his power.  The sea was calm, the boats were in full view
of the pirate.  Shoving off from the ship's sides, they pulled gallantly
towards her.  At 3 p.m. they arrived within gunshot, when up went the
black flag, thus giving undoubted evidence of the character of the
craft, while the schooner opened her fire, at the same time bullets came
flying round the boats from a number of the pirate crew who had been
landed, and been stationed under shelter among the trees which grew
close to the shore of the harbour.  Still the British boats pulled
steadily on in two divisions, Captain Walcott's intention being to board
the pirate on both sides at once.  Each of the pinnaces carried
carronades, which were now rapidly fired, while the marines began to
blaze away, thus partially, by the smoke which circled round them,
concealing the boats and preventing the pirates from taking exact aim.
As the boats approached, the deck of the pirate was seen crowded with
men, and boarding nettings triced up.  Three-quarters of an hour had the
British seamen been exposed to her fire, as well as to that from the men
on shore, when Captain Walcott issued the order to dash alongside.  For
a few moments the pirates ceased firing, being employed in loading all
their guns in the hopes of sending their assailants with one broadside
to the bottom.  Three hearty cheers were given, and so rapidly did the
boats approach that the shots flew over them, and before the schooner's
guns could be reloaded, the boats were up to her, and the seamen began
climbing on board--no easy matter, for the sides were unusually high,
and had been greased all over so as to render it as difficult as
possible.  At that moment the pirate crew losing heart, began to leap
overboard and swim towards the shore, in the hopes of preserving their
lives.  Many, however, were cut-down before they could make their
escape, while others were captured in the water.  Among them Aragonez
himself was taken, with 27 besides, 10 were killed, and 15 wounded;
while the English lost 1 man killed and 4 wounded in this most gallant
affair.  Captain Walcott then sent a requisition to the governor of
Barracoa, which induced him to dispatch a party in search of those who
had escaped into the woods, when sixteen more were captured and
immediately put to death by the Spaniards.  The _Tyne_ then sailed with
her prisoners for Jamaica, when two of them turning king's evidence,
their chief and the remainder of the miscreant band were executed.  The
affair may well take rank with any of the most brilliant boat services
on record, and Admiral Rowley expressed in a general order his sense of
the admirable skill and courage with which the enterprise had been
carried out.  That most graphic of writers, Michael Scott, who spent
many years in the West Indies, had evidently heard of it when he wrote
"Tom Cringle's Log."  The capture of Lieutenant Hobson by the pirates,
and his subsequent release, afforded him the idea of the captive of his
hero by the picaroon, while the destruction of Obed's schooner in a
harbour off Cuba, with not a few additional touches, was also taken from
the account of the capture of the _Zaragonaza_.

The piratical cruisers belonging to Algiers had long been the terror of
the merchantmen of all nations.  The Algerines not only plundered but
massacred the crews of the vessels they captured, and it was supposed
that many hundreds had fallen into their power.  Their crowning act of
atrocity was the murder of the crews of three hundred small vessels
engaged in the coral fishery off Bona, near Algiers, who, being
Christians, had landed to visit a church.  At length the British
Government determined to put a stop to their proceedings, and Lord
Exmouth, who had just returned to England, after having compelled the
Dey of Tunis to restore 1792 slaves to freedom, and to sign a treaty for
the abolition of Christian slavery, was appointed to the command of a
fleet which sailed from Plymouth on the 28th of July, 1816, with his
flag flying on board the _Queen Charlotte_, of 100 guns, Captain James
Brisbane.  During the passage out, every ship in the fleet was exercised
with the great guns, firing at a target hung from the end of the
fore-topmast studdingsail-boom rigged out for the purpose, so that they
became unusually expert.  Lord Exmouth's fleet consisted of only five
line-of-battle ships, with the 50-gun ship _Leander_, four frigates, and
several sloops of war and bomb-vessels.  Misled by the charts, which
were altogether defective, Lord Nelson had required ten sail of the
line, and the same number of bomb-vessels, when he proposed to attack
Algiers, but the harbour and fortifications had lately been surveyed by
Captain Warde, who had found the entrance of the harbour much narrower
than had been supposed.  The fortifications were, however, formidable in
the extreme, the batteries defending the town bristling with several
tiers of heavy guns, while powerful forts commanded the approaches.  On
the mole alone were upwards of 200 guns, and altogether 500 guns, few
being smaller than 24-pounders, defended the piratic city.  On reaching
Gibraltar, Lord Exmouth found a Dutch squadron, Vice-Admiral Van de
Cappellon, who entreated leave to co-operate with him, commanding it.
After some delay owing to contrary winds, on the 14th of August the
English and Dutch fleets, accompanied by several additional gunboats,
sailed for Algiers.  On their way they met the _Prometheus_ sloop of
war, Captain Dashwood, which had on board the wife, daughter, and infant
child of the British consul, Mr McDonnell.  The two ladies, disguised
in midshipmen's uniforms, had with great difficulty escaped, but as they
were passing through the gateway the infant, who had been concealed in a
basket, uttering a cry, was detained and carried to the dey.  It should
be recorded as a solitary instance of his humanity that it was sent off
the next morning to its mother by the dey.  The surgeon of the
_Prometheus_ with three midshipmen and the crews of two boats,
consisting in all of eighteen persons, had been detained.

The fleet being becalmed, Lord Exmouth sent a lieutenant in one of the
_Queen Charlotte's_ boats with a flag of truce to the dey, demanding the
immediate liberation of the British consul and the people belonging to
the _Prometheus_, the abolition of Christian slavery, the delivery of
all Christian slaves in the Algerine state, and the repayment of the
money exacted for the redemption of Neapolitan and Sardinian slaves, and
peace with the King of the Netherlands.  Before the answer had been
received, a breeze sprung up, and the fleet standing in to the harbour,
the ships took up their appointed positions before the city.  The _Queen
Charlotte_ made herself fast to the main-mast of a brig on shore close
to the mole.  Near her lay the _Leander_, while the other ships arranged
themselves to bring their guns to bear on different parts of the city,
the lighter vessels bringing up abreast of any openings they could find
in the line of battle.  Scarcely had the _Queen Charlotte_ brought up,
when a shot was fired at her from the city, followed by two other guns,
when Lord Exmouth seeing a large body of soldiers standing on the
parapet of the mole, watching the ships, mercifully waved his hand to
them to make their escape, and as they were leaping down, the _Queen
Charlotte_ opened her starboard broadside, the other ships following her
example.  So admirably were her guns served that her third broadside
completely levelled the south end of the mole, when, changing her
position, she attacked the batteries over the town-gate, and brought the
guns on it tumbling over the battlements.  Soon after this an Algerine
frigate was boarded by the flag-ship's barge, under Lieutenant Richards,
and her crew driven overboard.  Till about ten at night the ships kept
up a furious fire at the town and forts; and by this time all the
Algerine ships and vessels within the harbour were burning, as were the
arsenal and storehouses on the mole, while several parts of the city
were in flames.  A fire-ship, which had been prepared at Gibraltar, was
now, under the conduct of Captain Herbert Powell, run on shore, close
under the semicircular battery, to the northward of the lighthouse, and
exploding, committed great damage to the enemy.  At length, the fire
from most of the forts being silenced, and the batteries on the mole
being in a state of dilapidation, the ammunition of the attacking ships
falling short, Lord Exmouth took advantage of a light air of wind off
the land to cut his cables, and stand out of fire, ordering the other
ships to follow his example.  Severe as had been the punishment
inflicted on the Algerines, the allied squadrons suffered considerably,
the British having lost 128 killed and 690 wounded, and the Dutch 13
killed and 52 wounded; while many of the ships had had their masts
injured, and the _Impregnable_ and _Leander_ had received numerous shot
in their hulls--the first ship to the number of 233; an 18-pound shot
had entered the bulwark, passed through the heart of the main-mast, and
had gone out on the opposite side.  The Algerines were said to have lost
between 4000 and 7000 men.  Next morning a boat was again sent on shore
with a note to the dey, repeating the demands of the preceding morning.
She was met by an Algerine officer, who declared that an answer,
yielding to all demands, had been at once sent.  Finally, the dey agreed
to the terms, and upwards of 1200 Christian slaves were delivered up,
besides the British consul and the people from the _Prometheus_, 30,000
dollars to the British consul for the destruction of his property, and
an apology to him, the restoration of the 382,500 dollars for the slaves
redeemed by Naples and Sicily, and peace with the King of the

Numerous promotions followed as rewards to the officers engaged in this
most important expedition, the objects of which were so fully attained.
As a proof of the disinterestedness of the British, it should be known
that of all the slaves liberated few, if any, were English.  The Dutch
admiral and his officers behaved with the greatest gallantry, each ship
taking up her position as close to the enemy's batteries as she could
get.  It was the first time that wooden ships were fairly matched
against stone walls; the result proved that, provided the ships can get
close enough, the advantage will be on their side, unless the stone
batteries are of far greater thickness than any that had hitherto been

Severe as had been the lesson received, scarcely eight years had passed
by before the Algerines had again sent their cruisers to sea.  In
consequence of this, Sir Harry B. Neale, then the British admiral in the
Mediterranean, received directions to inflict a fresh punishment on
them.  Before proceeding to extremities, however, he despatched the
_Naiad_, Captain Spencer, to destroy a large 16-gun piratical brig,
which had taken shelter under the fortress of Bona.  The service was
performed in the most gallant way by Lieutenant Quin, first lieutenant
of the _Naiad_, with her boats, he having pulled in under a tremendous
fire from the fortress, boarded and blown up the brig.  Sir Harry then
appeared off the place with his squadron, and the dey, without the
slightest resistance, yielded to all his demands.

Six years after this the French, landing a powerful army, captured the
fortress by attacking it in the rear, and took possession of the


England had been at peace for nearly nine years, when the aggressions of
the Burmese on the territories of the East India Company induced the
Government to send an expedition into the Irrawaddy, a deep river which
runs past Ava, the capital of the country, for several hundred miles
into the sea, with many important places on its banks.  British troops,
under the command of Sir Archibald Campbell, and a small squadron, under
the command of Commodore Grant in the _Liffey_, sailed for Rangoon.  The
other ships were the _Larne_, Commander Frederick Marryat, the _Slaney_,
of 20 guns, and _Sophie_, an 18-gun brig, four of the Company's
cruisers, and a number of small craft to serve as gunboats.

Rangoon having been bombarded by the squadron, the troops landed, and
drove the enemy, after some severe fighting, from their stockades.  The
English flotilla was actively engaged in capturing cargo-boats, which,
being cut-down, served well for landing the troops.  Captain Marryat,
the celebrated novelist, on all occasions especially distinguished
himself, showing that he could fight as well as write.  Sickness,
however, attacked both the seamen and soldiers.  In a short time 749 of
the latter had died, and thousands were in the hospital; while Commodore
Grant and a large number of the seamen had also succumbed to disease.
Captain Marryat having been promoted into the _Tees_, happily for
himself, left the expedition.  Captain Chads now commanded the squadron,
to which, at the recommendation of Captain Marryat, the _Diana_
steam-vessel had been added.  Though she was unarmed--for at that time
no one thought that steamers could carry guns--she was of great service
during the harassing warfare in towing vessels and boats.  Still the
fever increased to an alarming degree, though some of the invalids when
removed to places near the sea, and to floating hospitals, which were
established at the mouth of the Rangoon river, recovered.

Though generally successful, the troops were repulsed in an attack upon
the pagoda of Keykloo, with a loss of 21 officers and men killed, and 74
wounded, while 28, who had been made prisoners, were found fastened to
the trunks of trees on the roadside, mangled and mutilated in the most
horrible manner.  Sir Archibald Campbell having determined to attack
Rangoon, a flotilla of gun-vessels and a mortar-boat were sent up under
Lieutenant Keele, the command of the land force being confided to
Lieutenant-Colonel Godwin.  Lieutenant Keele and those under him behaved
most gallantly, destroying thirty of the enemy's war-boats and opening a
heavy fire on the stockades, while the troops stormed and carried the
fortress.  The Burmese were next driven from Kemerdine, a fortified
village above Rangoon.  Their war-boats gave considerable trouble, some
of them being of large size and carrying a long 9-pounder apiece, with a
crew of 76 oarsmen, besides warriors.  A squadron of boats, however,
captured a considerable number, sank others, and put the rest to flight.
The steamer _Diana_, on board which several carronades had been placed,
with a party of small-arm men, did good service under the command of
Lieutenant Kellet.  The enemy, not aware of the rapidity of her
movements, were overtaken, and upwards of forty of their boats were

Early in 1825 Captain Alexander, of the 28-gun frigate _Alligator_,
arrived out and took command; but he was shortly superseded by Sir James
Brisbane--he, however, having to leave the station on account of
ill-health, Captain Chads again took the command of the flotilla.  The
army advanced, and the little squadron pushed up the river; Donabew and
Proom were taken, on each occasion the squadron acting an important
part.  Meaday was next captured, and before the close of the year the
force reached Melloone, which also quickly fell.  Still pressing
forward, the army and squadron arrived at Yandaboo, forty-five miles
only from Ava--the Burmese, whenever they were met, being completely
defeated.  For nearly a year the naval officers and their men were away
from their ships, rowing and tracking their boats by day against a rapid
stream, and at night protected only by awnings, and often hard-pressed
for provisions.  For upwards of two months they were entirely destitute
of fresh meat.  Still, all behaved admirably.  The defeat of his army,
and the rapid approach of the British, at length induced the King of Ava
to sue for peace; and Sir Archibald allowing him only ten hours to
decide, he agreed to enter upon a commercial treaty upon the principles
of reciprocal advantage, to send a minister to reside at Calcutta, to
cede certain provinces conquered by the British, and to pay a million of
money as an indemnity to the British, a large portion being immediately
handed over.  This was brought down the Irrawaddy, a distance of 600
miles, and conveyed to Calcutta by Captain Chads.  The Companionship of
the Bath was bestowed upon the leaders of the expedition, and all the
lieutenants and passed midshipmen were promoted--an acknowledgment of
the admirable way in which they had performed their duties during the
long and arduous service in which they had been engaged.


After a time the Burmese forgot the lesson they had received, and having
frequently violated the treaty of 1826, it became necessary to bring
them to order.  An army of about 6000 men, under General Godwin, who had
taken a leading part in the previous operations, was sent out; while the
commander-in-chief on the Indian station despatched a small squadron,
under the command of Commodore Lambert, of the _Fox_, 40 guns, with the
_Serpent, Rattler, Hermes_, and _Salamander_, to which the East India
Company added 13 steamers.  A naval brigade was formed, and served on
shore, under Lieutenant D'Orville, first of the _Fox_.  Most of the
places which had before been taken had again to be attacked, and were
captured much in the same way as before, though not without severe
fighting.  The squadron was further increased by the arrival of the
_Winchester_, Captain Loch.  Whereas before only one steamer belonged to
the squadron, it now consisted of a number of well-armed steam-vessels,
suited for the navigation of shallow waters.  The boats belonging to the
ships co-operated on all occasions, while the troops were carried to
their destinations by the steamers.

A most important expedition was sent up the river Irrawaddy under the
command of Captain Tarleton, on board the _Medusa_.  He had with him
three Company's steamers.  They proceeded to Konnoughee, a short
distance below Proom, where a strong force, which appeared on shore, was
put to flight by the shells thrown from the vessels.  Higher up they
found a Burmese army of 10,000 men assembled to guard the passage to
Proom and the capital.  The river here divides into two channels, one of
which the Burmese believed to be too shallow for the passage of the
steamers.  Captain Tarleton, however, having ascertained that there was
water enough for his vessels, pushed through it during the night,
leaving the Burmese general and his army in the rear, and by daylight
came off Proom.  As there were no troops to defend the place, he carried
off a number of heavy guns from a battery at the south end of the town.
The iron ones were sunk in deep water, and the brass taken on board, to
the number of twenty-three.  Captain Tarleton had been directed merely
to explore the river, or within four days he might have appeared before
Ava, and in all probability have captured the city.  On his return he
was attacked by a large flotilla of war-boats, forty or fifty of which
he either captured or destroyed.  In consequence of his report, a body
of troops was sent up the river on board steamers to Proom, which was
quickly captured.  Several other expeditions were made up the river,
most of them under the command of Captain Granville Loch.  Unhappily, he
led one on shore against a robber-chieftain, Mya-Toon, who with other
chiefs of the same character, had been committing depredations in all
directions.  The party consisted of about 300 men of the 67th Bengal
Native Infantry, 62 marines and 185 seamen, with 25 officers.  Having
landed at Donabew, they marched inland through a jungle till they
reached the robber's fortress.  Before it was an abattis of
sharply-pointed bamboos, the road being so narrow that it was impossible
to deploy the whole strength of the column.  Concealed by their
breast-works, the Burmese opened a murderous fire on the British force.
In vain Captain Loch endeavoured to force his way across the nullah or
trench.  At length he fell mortally wounded, while several other
officers and a considerable number of men were killed and wounded.  At
length Commander Lambert, on whom the command devolved, gave the order
to his followers to retire.  The two field-pieces they carried with them
were spiked, and the carriages destroyed, and they commenced their march
back to Donabew, carrying their wounded companions, but they were
compelled to leave the dead on the field.  They were bravely covered by
the grenadier company of the 67th, who kept the enemy at a distance
till, almost worn out, after twelve hours' march, they reached their
boats.  The gallant Captain Loch expired on board the _Phlegethon_ about
forty hours after he had received his wound.

This disaster had no effect on the war, and the Burmese monarch being
defeated at all points, agreed to open the Irrawaddy to British trade,
and, shorn of much of his power, he has since remained at peace with


Unhappy Greece had long groaned under the tyranny of the Turkish yoke,
her efforts to throw it off having proved unavailing, and been crushed
by the most barbarous cruelty; when at length, in 1827, England, France,
and Russia combined to emancipate her, the latter influenced by other
motives than those of humanity.  Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Codrington was
appointed to the command of the British squadron in the Mediterranean,
and he was directed to mediate between the contending parties.  As he
was about to leave England, he received, as it was said, a hint from the
Lord High Admiral how he was to conduct his negotiations, with the
memorable words, "Go it, Ned!"  The French and Russian squadrons, which
afterwards joined him, were placed under his command.  Sir Edward, on
inquiring from Sir Stratford Canning how he was to act, received the
following reply: "You are not to take part with either of the
belligerents, but you are to interpose your forces between them, and to
keep the peace with your speaking-trumpet if possible; but in case of
necessity, with that which is used for the maintenance of a blockade
against friends as well as foes--I mean force;" and he further added,
"When all other means are exhausted, by cannon-shot."

The harbour of Navarino is in the form of a horse-shoe, about six miles
in circumference, with an island stretching across it, the only passage
into it being about six hundred yards wide.  The Turco-Egyptian army was
encamped on the mainland, close to the fortress of Navarino, while on
the opposite side was a strong fort, mounting 125 guns.  Within this bay
the Turkish and Egyptian fleets, consisting of 3 ships of the line, 4
double frigates, and 13 frigates, and a large number of corvettes,
brigs, and other small craft, besides a number of transports, were at
anchor, drawn up in the form of a crescent.  Sir Edward Codrington's
flag was on board the _Asia_, of 80 guns.  He had with him the _Genoa
and Albion_, seventy-fours, the _Glasgow_, 50, the _Cambrian_, 48, the
_Dartmouth_, 46, and the _Talbot_, 28 guns, besides a corvette, 4 brigs,
and the _Hind_ cutter, tender to the _Asia_.  The French had 4
line-of-battle ships, a frigate, and 2 corvettes, and the Russians about
the same number.  The allied fleet was therefore superior to that of the
Turks, except in point of numbers.  The combined fleet being formed in
two columns, the British and French in the weather or starboard line,
and the Russians in the lee line, entered the harbour.  The _Asia_ led,
followed by the _Genoa and Albion_, and anchored close alongside a ship
of the line, bearing the flag of the Capitan Bey, another ship of the
line, and a large double-banked frigate, each thus having their opponent
in the front line of the Turkish fleet.  The French squadron was
directed to attack the Turks to leeward, and the Russian to fill up the
interval, while the English brigs were to look after six fire-vessels at
the entrance of the harbour.  Positive orders were given that not a shot
should be fired unless the Turks set the example.  The first three
English ships were permitted to pass the batteries, and to moor without
any act of hostility taking place.  A boat, however, was sent shortly
afterwards from the _Dartmouth_ to request the Turkish fire-vessels to
move farther out of the way, when Lieutenant Fitzroy and several of her
crew were shot at and killed.  On this the _Dartmouth_ and the French
admiral's ship opened a fire of musketry on the Turkish vessel, when one
of the Egyptian ships fired a cannon-shot, which was immediately
answered by the _Dartmouth's_ broadside.  The ships opposed to the
_Asia_, however, did not for some time fire, and Sir Edward sent a pilot
on board the Egyptian admiral's ship to express his desire of avoiding
bloodshed, when, as he was alongside, he was killed by some of the
Egyptian crew, and soon afterwards his ship fired into the _Asia_.  The
action now became general.  The Turks fought with the greatest bravery,
but their ships, one after the other, were quickly destroyed, several
blowing up.  Two of the fire-ships were soon in flames, a third blew up,
and a fourth was sunk by the _Philomel_.  A gallant officer, Lieutenant
Maine Lyons, a brother of Sir Edmund Lyons, afterwards Lord Lyons,
belonging to the _Rose_ corvette, was mortally wounded while
endeavouring to tow a fire-ship in flames clear of the French _Armide_.
Commodore Bathurst of the _Genoa_ was also mortally wounded, after
having previously been severely hurt by a splinter soon after the
commencement of the action.  One of the Turkish ships fell foul of the
_Albion_, when the crew of the former attempted to board, but being
repulsed, the Turk was boarded instead by Lieutenant John Drake, who
compelled her crew to cry for quarter.  Unhappily, before he could
rescue some Greek prisoners in her hold, she burst into flames, when he
was compelled to retire, and her cables being cut by one of the
_Albion's_ midshipmen, she drifted clear of that ship and soon
afterwards blew up.  Among the many acts of gallantry was one performed
by Lieutenant Robb, in command of the _Hind_ cutter.  She had arrived
after the commencement of the action, when entering the bay she took up
a raking position at about the distance of forty yards across the stern
of a large frigate, and opened a rapid fire.  After remaining here for
three-quarters of an hour, and receiving the fire of various smaller
vessels, her cable was cut by a shot, and she drifted between a large
corvette and a brig, which she engaged till the brig blew up.  Her last
cable being cut, she drifted into the hottest part of the action, till
her main-boom ran into one of the main-deck ports of a Turkish frigate,
the crew of which made several attempts to board her, but were repulsed
by Lieutenant Robb and his crew.  The Turks after some time sent a large
strongly-manned boat to attack the cutter.  Just as the boat got
alongside the _Hind_ two carronades, charged with grape and canister,
fired into her by the latter, knocked her to pieces.  The cutter after
this fortunately drifting clear of the frigate, escaped the destruction
which might have been her fate.  Besides receiving numerous round-shot
in her hull, she lost a master's mate and 3 men killed, and a midshipman
and 9 men wounded.  Every ship in the squadron behaved well, and was
ably supported by the Russians and French.  A small number only of the
Turco-Egyptian fleet escaped destruction, though it was larger than Sir
Edward Codrington had at first supposed.  The very doubtful advantage
gained by the action was purchased at the heavy loss of 75 killed,
including several valuable officers, and 195 wounded, while the French
and Russians together lost still more.  The usual rewards were bestowed
on the victors; though a new ministry coming in, the action was spoken
of in the royal speech as "that untoward event."  However, its ultimate
result undoubtedly was the liberation of Greece from the Turkish yoke.
Another result was the suppression of the office of Lord High Admiral by
the Duke of Wellington, who, on becoming Prime Minister, requested the
Duke of Clarence to resign, finding that his royal highness, having a
will of his own, was not sufficiently subservient to the government.  To
the credit of our sailor-king, he never exhibited the least ill-feeling
in consequence towards the duke for this apparent slight.


Mahomet Ali, who, from a common soldier, had raised himself to a high
command in the Turkish army, having been sent to Egypt, had deposed the
pacha of that province and slipped into his shoes.  Nothing stopped him
in his ambitious career.  Finding the Mamelukes troublesome, he invited
about 500, all he could collect, to a feast in the citadel of Cairo,
where, with the exception of one chief, who leaped his horse over a high
wall and escaped, he caused the whole band to be massacred.
Consolidating his power, he made himself independent of the Ottoman
Empire, and began to consider the possibility of mounting the throne of
the caliphs.  To effect this object he assembled a large army, which he
sent under his adopted son, Ibrahim Pacha, into Syria.  Ibrahim Pacha,
on his successful march northward, was encouraged, it is supposed, by
the French, when England, with Prussia, Austria, and Russia, thought it
time to interfere.  The Turks were almost helpless.  A large army sent
against Ibrahim Pacha had been defeated, and the Turkish fleet had
joined that of the Egyptians.  The four powers now sent an ultimatum to
Mahomet Ali, offering him the hereditary sovereignty of Egypt, and the
pachalia of Saint Jean d'Acre for life, provided he would withdraw his
troops from Syria, notifying that if he refused he would be compelled to
assent by force of arms.  Mahomet replied that the territories he had
won with the sword he would defend with the sword.  An English fleet was
accordingly sent out to the Mediterranean under the command of Admiral
Sir Robert Stopford, who was joined by some Austrian and Turkish ships,
and the ports of Syria and Egypt were blockaded.  Captain Charles Napier
was appointed to the _Powerful_, as commodore, with the _Ganges,
Thunderer, Edinburgh, Castor_, and _Gorgon_ under his command.  On
fitting out the _Powerful_ at Portsmouth, he had the following
characteristic announcement placarded on the walls: "Wanted active
seamen for the _Powerful_, Captain Napier.  The _Powerful_ is a fine
ship, and in the event of a war will not fail to take her own part."
Captain Napier's character being well known, the _Powerful_ soon
obtained an efficient crew.

The attitude taken up by France was so doubtful that it was expected
that at any moment war might break out, and the officers of the British
squadron were cautioned to be on their guard against surprise.  It was,
indeed, the most exciting time since the last war.  While Sir Robert
Stopford was blockading Alexandria, Napier's squadron anchored off
Beyrout on the 12th of August, 1840.  At this time Suleiman Pacha, at
the head of 15,000 Egyptian troops, occupied Beyrout.  Ibrahim was at
Balbec with 10,000 more; the garrison of Sidon consisted of 3000 men,
that in Tripoli of 5000, while between 40,000 and 50,000 Egyptians were
scattered through various parts of Syria.  A small Turkish squadron had
been fitted out and placed under the command of Captain Baldwin Walker,
who was known as Walker Bey.  After Napier had been employed some time
in examining the coast, Admiral Stopford, who was commander-in-chief of
the land as well as sea forces of the allies, in consequence of the
illness of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Charles Smith, appointed him to take
the direction of the military force on shore.  This was much to the
taste of Napier, who was as fond of fighting on land as at sea.  Heading
the troops on a small pony, in his usual free and easy dress, he carried
all before him, and the Egyptian troops being put to flight, the
mountaineers crowded in numbers under the standard of the sultan.  It
was determined to bombard Beyrout; the bombardment of Algiers had shown
what could be done against stone walls.  A new power was now introduced
into naval warfare--a considerable number of steam-ships being among the
fleet.  They were the _Gorgon, Cyclops, Vesuvius, Hydra, Phoenix_, and
_Confiance_.  At that time little confidence was placed in them as
vessels of war, though it was acknowledged that they might prove useful
in towing line-of-battle ships into action, or in acting as
despatch-boats, or as transports for throwing troops on shore at any
particular point.

On the refusal of Suleiman Pacha to yield up Beyrout, the bombardment
commenced, and continued for several days.  In the meantime the
_Carysfort_, Captain Martin, with the _Dido_, followed by the _Cyclops_
steamer, with a body of 220 marines and 150 mountaineers, was despatched
to attack the strong castle of D'jebl, to the northward.  The ships
having bombarded the place for an hour, a body of seaman under Captain
Austin, and some marines, under Captain Robinson, were landed, protected
by the fire of the ships, and proceeded to the assault.  They advanced
with their usual gallantry, but when they had got within thirty yards of
the strong and lofty towers, a destructive fire was opened on them from
a crenelated outwork, with a deep ditch in front.  In vain the
commanding officers looked for some part of the castle which might prove
practicable; the muzzles of the enemy's muskets were alone visible
through the loop-holes.  As the men were falling rapidly without a
prospect of success, it became necessary to draw them off, it being
evident that the place could not betaken until a breach had been made in
the walls, though the immense solidity of the building prevented much
hope of this being done.  As the party were on the point of
re-embarking, it was discovered that an English flag, which had been
planted on a garden wall by the pilot of the _Cyclops_ as a signal to
the ships, had been left behind.  On this Lieutenant Grenfell, and
McDonald, a seaman of the _Cyclops_, undertook to bring it off, and set
out on their hazardous expedition.  They were seen from the decks of the
ships, and their object being understood, were watched with intense
anxiety.  Pushing on amid the bullets levelled at them, they reached the
garden wall, seized the flagstaff, and escaping the bullets, hastened to
the shore.  Loud cheers greeted them as they returned on board uninjured
with their prize.  The next morning it was found that the garrison had
evacuated the castle.  Five marines were killed in the attack, and
eighteen men wounded, including Lieutenant Gifford, R.N., and Lieutenant
Adair, of the marines.

Beyrout still held out in spite of the battering it was receiving.
Suleiman Pacha proved that he was as courteous as he was brave, for the
Indian mail arriving by way of Bagdad, he ordered a flag of truce to be
hoisted, and on a boat being sent on shore, delivered the mail, with a
polite message, assuring the British that all letters to and from India
should be carefully forwarded.  Admiral Stopford immediately sent in a
letter of thanks to the pacha, and accompanied it with some cases of
wine which had been seized in an Egyptian vessel directed to Suleiman,
rightly conjecturing that it would not prove an unwelcome present.

Firing was then resumed.  Information having been brought by an Egyptian
gunner, a deserter, that a train had been laid along the bridge to the
eastern castle, where a large quantity of powder was concealed, he
undertook to guide a party to cut the train and seize the powder.
Commander Worth, who immediately offered to perform this dangerous
service, was joined by numerous volunteers.  The party embarked in one
of the boats of the _Hastings_, and, protected by the _Edinburgh's_
launch and pinnace, as well as by the fire from the ships, dashed on in
face of a heavy fire of musketry, and landed on the bridge.  Having
succeeded in cutting off the train, they forced their way into the
castle, over the walls of which they threw some sixty or seventy casks
of powder, and succeeded in bringing off upwards of thirty more.  In
this exploit, unfortunately, a midshipman of the _Hastings_, Mr
Luscombe, was killed, and the Egyptian guide, with three seamen, were

Commodore Napier, at the head of his marines and Turks, had a gallant
skirmish on the Kelbson, or Dog River, when he dispersed the Egyptian
forces, and took between 400 and 500 prisoners.  Next day he returned on
board his ship.

While talking with Sir Robert Stopford on the 25th of September, he
remarked that Sidon was not yet in our possession, and, according to an
article in the _Malta Times_, said to the admiral, "If you like, I will
go down and take it, and be back in eight and forty hours."  He started
with the _Thunderer, Cyclops, Gorgon_, and _Hydra_, with 500 marines and
800 Turks.  On his way he fell in with the _Stromboli_, from England,
with a detachment of 200 marines.  These he took with him, and after
firing shot and shell at the town for a couple of hours, he made a
breach and landed at the head of his men.  The struggle was a sharp one,
but after a great number of the enemy, who would neither give nor
receive quarter, had been killed, as well as the Egyptian commander,
who, although the bayonets of two marines were at his breast, resisted,
the Egyptian troops, to the number of 500, threw down their arms.
Fifteen thousand were afterwards taken.  The commodore put himself at
the head of the British marines, and breaking into the barracks, as soon
as Captain Henderson and another party had lodged themselves in a house
above the building, he marched his battalion along the wall from the
upper gate, waving his hat at the point of his sword, and cheering on
his men, and seized the castle.  Among other acts of gallantry must be
mentioned a race which took place from the spot where they landed,
between Mr James Hunt, a midshipman of the _Stromboli_, and Senhor
Dominica Chinca, a midshipman of the Austrian frigate _Guerriera_, each
striving who should first plant his colours on the walls of the town.
It was won by the English reefer.  Without in any way detracting from
Mr Hunt's gallantry, it is right to state that Lieutenant Anderson, of
the marines, had already planted a Union Jack nearly on the same spot,
but which he had afterwards carried to a higher part of the town.  The
Turkish troops were gallantly led by their colonel, accompanied by
Walker Bey and Captain Austin, under a heavy fire, as were the English
marines under Captain Whylock and Lieutenants Anderson and Hockins, the
latter, who had just landed from England, being unfortunately killed.
The Egyptians held out till their leader was killed, when nearly 2000
laid down their arms.  The remainder retired through the streets,
pursued by the attacking parties, and at length took refuge in a vaulted
barrack, where upwards of a thousand men were found lying down ready for
a sortie.  They at once yielded, and thus in five hours from the
commencement of the bombardment, Sidon was captured.  The total loss to
the allies and Austrians was 4 killed and 21 wounded, while only 12
Turks were wounded.

At what is called the Battle of Boharsof, Commodore Napier, with his
gallant aides-de-camp, Lieutenants Bradley and Duncan, and Mr Pearn,
master of the _Powerful_, at the head of his Turks and marines, attacked
Ibrahim Pacha, posted in the neighbourhood of Mount Lebanon, among
rugged and almost inaccessible rocks.  The Egyptians' position was
stormed, and Ibrahim's army took to flight, he, with a few men,
escaping, and leaving 600 or 700 prisoners in the hands of the victors.
Beyrout, in consequence of this victory, was abandoned, and taken
possession of by the Turks.  Thus the gallant old commodore, in about a
month, freed nearly the whole of the Lebanon, took 500 prisoners, and
gained over an equal number of deserters.

On the 17th of September Caiffa was bombarded and captured by the
_Castor_ and _Pique_, and a Turkish frigate, under Captain Collier.  By
the same ships, in a similar manner, Tyre was taken on the 24th, without
the loss of a man.  On the 25th of September Tortosa was attacked by
Captain Houston Stuart, commanding the _Benbow_, in company with the
_Carysfort_ and _Zebra_, he having been informed that a large quantity
of provisions was stored in the place, and should they be destroyed the
troops in the neighbourhood must evacuate the country, and leave open
the communication with the mountains, whose inhabitants were anxious to
join the Turks.  Unfortunately, when the boats were sent on shore to
storm the place, it was found that a reef of rocks, or a sunken mole,
would allow only the smaller ones to reach the beach.  A gallant party,
under Lieutenants Charlwood and Maitland, with scarcely thirty men, were
able to get on shore, and both they and the larger boats were exposed to
a heavy fire of musketry from numerous loop-holes and crevices from the
fortress.  Lieutenant Charlwood having broken open several stores, which
he in vain attempted to set on fire, the ammunition of the marines, who
had followed Lieutenant Maitland, being wet, they were ordered by
Captain Stuart to retire.  In this disastrous affair 5 were killed and
17 wounded.

The celebrated fortress of Saint Jean d'Acre, which, when held by Sir
Sidney Smith, had resisted the arms of Napoleon, had been captured by
Ibrahim Pacha in 1837, and still held out.  Sir Robert Stopford having
received orders to attack it, the ships of the allied fleet proceeded
thither, and arrived off it on the 2nd of November.  They consisted of
the _Princess Charlotte_, of 104 guns, the _Powerful_ and _Thunderer_,
84, _Bellerophon_, 80, _Revenge_, 76, _Benbow_ and _Edinburgh_, 72,
_Castor_, frigate, 36, and the _Carysfort_, 26, the _Gorgon, Phoenix,
Stromboli_, and _Vesuvius_, steam-frigates, and the Austrian flag-ship,
an Austrian frigate and corvette, and the Turkish flag-ship, an 84.
Rear-Admiral Walker--the _Pique_ and _Talbot_ frigates, the _Hasard_,
18-gun sloop, and the _Wasp_, 16-gun brig--had been there for some days.
The fortress of Acre stands on a point of land, thus presenting two
sides to the sea, one facing the east, and the other the south-east.  In
consequence of this, it was necessary that the squadron should attack in
two divisions.  Sir Robert Stopford went on board the _Phoenix_ to
superintend the attack.  Napier led the way in the _Powerful_ to the
northward, closely followed by the _Princess Charlotte, Thunderer,
Bellerophon_, and _Pique_, while Captain Collier, of the _Castor_,
commanded on the south.  The _Powerful_, followed by the other ships,
having got round a shoal which lies off the city, bore up and ran along
shore towards the north angle, anchoring about 700 yards distant from
the sea wall, considerably inside the buoys which had been laid down to
assist the ships in taking up their stations.  As the ships successively
brought up, they opened a tremendous fire on the batteries and sea wall,
where the shot was so well directed that it would have been almost
impossible for any human beings to have stood their ground.  The
Egyptians, supposing that the ships would anchor close to the buoys, had
pointed their guns too high; consequently most of their shot flew over
the decks of the ships, wounding chiefly the rigging and spars, while
the clouds of smoke which immediately enveloped the fleet prevented them
from remedying their mistake.  The _Revenge_ had been ordered to keep
under way as a reserve, but Napier signalled to her to take up a
position ahead of him, to attack a heavy battery of five guns.  This
Captain Waldegrave did in gallant style.

In the meantime Captain Collier's squadron were engaging the batteries
on the south, well supported by the Austrians, and Admiral Walker, who,
running inside all the squadron, took up a warm berth abreast of a new
and strong work.  The steamers were not idle, as they kept up a hot fire
of shot and shell, doing much execution.  While the fleet were thus
engaged, an incessant roar showing the rapidity of the firing, and
clouds of smoke filling the air, a thundering sound was heard--for an
instant the whole fortress was illumined with an intense blaze of light,
which was as suddenly succeeded by a dense cloud of smoke, dust,
bursting shells, and large fragments of stone hurled upwards and in
every direction.  The principal magazine, containing many thousand
barrels of gunpowder, had exploded, in consequence, as was supposed, of
a shell having been thrown into it by one of the steam-ships.  A large
number of the garrison were blown up by the explosion, and many more
probably were buried amid the ruins.  Notwithstanding this catastrophe,
the five guns opposed to the _Revenge_ continued their fire, and kept it
up to the last.  About sunset the signal was made to discontinue the
engagement, but Napier fired away for some time after dusk, lest the
enemy should be tempted to re-man their guns.  At length the admiral's
flag-lieutenant brought an order for the ships to withdraw.  The
_Revenge_, slipping her anchor, made sail without difficulty.  The
_Princess Charlotte_ picked up both hers and made sail, but, casting the
wrong way, nearly got on shore.  She was, however, conducted in a most
seamanlike manner, not a word being heard on board her.  The _Powerful_
was towed out by the _Gorgon_.  The _Thunderer_ and _Bellerophon_, as
also the southern squadron, remained at anchor.

During the night a boat brought off information that the Egyptian troops
were leaving the town, and, in consequence, at daylight, 300 Turks and a
party of Austrian marines landed and took unopposed possession of it.
The casualties of the allies amounted to only 14 English and 14 Turks
killed, and 42 wounded.  Notwithstanding the long continued fire to
which the ships had been exposed, they escaped with slight damage.  The
havoc caused by the bombardment on the walls and houses was very great,
while it was calculated that the explosion had destroyed between one and
two thousand persons, two entire regiments being annihilated, with a
number of animals.  On the 4th another explosion took place, by which a
marine was killed, and Captain Collier had his leg fractured.

This was the first occasion on which the advantages of steam had been
fully proved in battle, by the rapidity with which the steamers took up
their positions, and the assistance they rendered to the other ships, as
also by the destruction the shells thrown from them produced.  The
survivors of the garrison, amounting to 3000, were taken prisoners,
while nearly 200 guns and mortars and field-pieces were captured.
Ibrahim's army, which in September had amounted to 75,000 men, had now
dwindled to 20,000, who, hard-pressed, were making their way back to
Egypt.  On the fall of Acre, Napier proceeded to Alexandria, where he
entered into a convention with Mahomet Ali, who agreed to evacuate Syria
and to restore the Turkish fleet as soon as he had received final
notification that the sultan would grant him the hereditary government
of Egypt, which, the Turkish fleet being given up, the sultan soon
afterwards did.  On the return of the _Powerful_ to the fleet, before
proceeding to Malta, the ships manned the rigging and cheered, the bands
playing "Charlie is my darling."

This terminated the duties of the fleet on the coast of Syria.



The Chinese had long designated the English, as well as all other
Europeans, the "outer barbarians," and treated them in the most
insulting manner.  At length the Chinese government, finding that silver
alone was given in exchange for opium, was afraid that the country would
be drained of that precious metal, and resolved to put a stop to the
importation of the drug.  Commissioner Lin was sent to Canton for that
purpose, and, to prove that he was in earnest, he ordered the first
Chinese opium smuggler he could catch to be strangled, shut up the
British merchants in their factories, and then demanded the delivery of
all the opium ships in the river.  At the same time the British flag was
fired on, British ships were detained, and a Chinaman having been
accidentally killed by a British seaman, the life of a British subject
was demanded in return.  Captain Elliott, R.N., acting at that time as
chief superintendent of trade, immediately sent home an account of the
state of affairs, summing up altogether a long list of complaints
against the Chinese.  On receipt of the news a squadron was sent out of
3 seventy-fours, 2 forty-fours, 3 38-gun frigates, and several sloops of
war and brigs, which, on their arrival, were joined by 4 of the East
India Company's armed steamers, and to meet them on their arrival about
4000 troops were despatched from India.  Before this the _Volage_ and
_Hyacinth_, while lying in Canton River, had a sharp engagement with a
fleet of war-junks, under the Chinese Admiral Kwang.  Gallantly as Kwang
behaved, in a short time one of his junks blew up, three sank, several
were shattered and deserted by their crews, and the remainder fled in
the greatest confusion, Kwang's junk being in a sinking condition.
Captain Smith, not wishing to cause any unnecessary bloodshed, retired
with his ships to Macao, where he embarked a number of British
residents.  Kwang, in consequence, boasted that he had gained a great
victory, and was covered with honours, his countrymen being encouraged
to persevere in the contest.  The Chinese also issued a proclamation
offering 20,000 Spanish dollars to any one who would capture an English
80-gun ship, and 5000 dollars to the man who took alive a foreign
mandarin or captain, and so on in proportion to the rank of the
captives; while a third of the sum was to be paid for killing them.  The
Chinese, determined to resist, prepared fire-ships, exercised their
troops, and got up sham fights, dressing some of their men in red
clothes, who were always soundly beaten, to teach the Celestials to
conquer the barbarian English.  They had likewise purchased the
_Cambridge_, an old East Indiaman, of 900 tons, and armed her with
thirty-four guns, and had built some curious craft with paddle-wheels,
in imitation of English steamers.  It was said even that they had
funnels, with fires below them to create a smoke, in order to deceive
the barbarians.  They also threw up forts along the banks of their
rivers, sometimes facing them with thin boards or canvas, painted to
look like stone, in order to frighten their invaders.

A considerable squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Elliott, in
the _Melville_, 74, now arrived.  When at Singapore, Captain Maitland
had drilled 350 of her seamen to act as light-infantry troops, and had
brought them into an admirable state of efficiency.  While one part of
the fleet blockaded the mouth of the Canton River, the remainder
proceeded to the northward to look into different harbours.  On her way
the _Blonde_ came off Amoa, near which she observed batteries thrown up,
and in a short time a number of large armed junks came down as if to
attack her.  On a boat being sent on shore with a flag of truce, she was
fired on by the Chinese.  On this the _Blonde_ opened her broadsides,
soon knocked the forts to pieces, and compelled the war-junks to run up
the harbour.

The _Wellesley_, with a part of the squadron, then appeared off Chusan.
Commodore Bremer was in hopes that his overwhelming force would induce
the Chinese to yield, but their fleet was commanded by a tough old
admiral, who, ignorant of the power of the English, had no intention of
doing so without a fight.  During the night the Chinese were seen by the
light of thousands of painted lanterns throwing up embankments, and
placing fresh guns in position, while numberless merchant-junks, loaded
with goods, women, and children, were observed making their way down the
river to escape.  After giving the Chinese several opportunities of
negotiating for peace, the _Wellesley_ opened her fire.  It was answered
by the whole of the Chinese line of defence.  The rest of the fleet than
began bombarding the place, and in seven or eight minutes it was reduced
to ruins.  On the smoke clearing away, the principal battery was seen to
be knocked to pieces, as were four war-junks, a few wounded men only
being visible, among whom was the brave old admiral, who had lost his
leg from a round-shot.  On the troops being landed, possession was taken
of the abandoned fortifications, and the British flag floated on the
first military position in the Chinese Empire captured by her majesty's
forces.  An inner fortress was, however, discovered, from which the
Chinese soldiers which crowded it, opened their fire, beating their
tom-toms and gongs, waving banners, and beckoning the English to attack.
A few shells having been thrown into it, the Chinese evacuated the
place during the night, and with many of the inhabitants fled into the
country.  Several persons were found to have been killed, and the
governor of the town drowned himself in despair.  Chusan was held for
some months, at the cost of the lives of many of the soldiers, who
suffered from the poisonous exhalations from the paddy-fields, having
nothing to do to employ their minds; while the seamen of the _Melville_,
which had been hove down for repairs, kept their health during the six
weeks they were employed on her.  The squadron got as far north as the
great wall of China.  On the passage the _Pylades_ corvette, Captain
Anson, fell in with three junks.  As his boats ranged up alongside of
them, upwards of 100 men, who had been concealed, started up and
commenced firing and hurling spears and stink-pots on the crews.  On
this the British shoved off to a short distance, and pouring in some
well-directed volleys, killed half the pirates, the remainder jumping
overboard and making for the shore--though many were drowned.  The other
two junks escaped.

One of the favourite exploits of the Chinese was to kidnap the English.
A Madras officer of artillery, Captain Anstruther, had been carried off
while taking a survey near Chusan.  The crew of a merchant-vessel, the
_Kite_, wrecked on the coast, and Mrs Noble, the captain's wife, were
also captured.  Near Macao a Mr Staunton had been been carried away, on
which Captain Smith, then the senior officer on the station, sent to
demand his release.  It being refused, and the Chinese being observed
strengthening the barrier which runs across the isthmus, joining Macao
to the mainland, he considered it probable that the enemy would attack
the city.  Taking, therefore, the _Larne_ and _Hyacinth_, with the
_Enterprise_ steamer and _Louisa_ cutter, he ran up close to the barrier
and opened so warm a cannonade on the Chinese works and barracks, that
the enemy's fire was silenced in about an hour.  Some blue-jacket
small-arm men and soldiers being then disembarked, they drove the
Chinese from every one of their positions, spiked the guns, and burnt
the barracks and other buildings.  This was the last hostile proceeding
of the British in the year 1840.  The Chinese, wishing to gain time,
induced Admiral Elliott to agree to a truce, shortly after which he
resigned command from ill-health, and returned to England, leaving Sir
Gordon Bremer as commander-in-chief.  At the commencement of 1841 the
squadron was further increased by the arrival of the _Nemesis_ steamer,
commanded by Mr W.H. Hall, then a master in the navy, and the
_Sulphur_, Commander Belcher.  The _Nemesis_, though not commissioned
under the articles of war, most of her officers were in the Royal Navy;
but she belonged to the East India Company.  She was built by Mr Laird
at Birkenhead, and although of about 630 tons burden, with engines of
120 horse-power, with all her armament complete, she drew only 6 feet of
water.  Her extreme length was 184 feet, her breadth 29 feet, and her
depth 11 feet.  She had no fixed keel, and was almost perfectly
flat-bottomed.  She had, however, two sliding or movable keels, made of
wood, each about 7 feet in length, one being placed before and the other
abaft the engine-room, and, being enclosed in narrow cases reaching to
the deck, they could be raised or lowered at will by means of a winch.
With the exception of the great paddle-beams across the ship, the planks
of the deck, and the cabin fittings, with a few other portions, she was
built entirely of iron.  As, from her form, she could not have been
steered by an ordinary rudder, a movable rudder was attached to the
lower part of the true or fixed rudder, descending to the same depth as
the two false keels, and, like them, could be raised or lowered at
pleasure.  Another striking peculiarity of her construction was that she
was divided into seven water-tight compartments by means of iron
bulkheads, so that, in fact, she resembled a number of iron tanks cased
over, a contrivance which saved her from the almost certain destruction
which would otherwise have been her lot.  By some cleverly-contrived
lee-boards her leeway, under sail, was reduced fully one-half.  It was
found, however, that the want of a fixed keel was a great detriment to
her seaworthy qualities.

After a voyage, during which she encountered many dangers, she arrived
safely in China, the first iron steamer which had ever performed so long
a voyage.  From her shallow draft of water she was enabled to play a
conspicuous part in most of the operations in the Chinese seas.

Finding that the Chinese, though carrying on negotiations, were making
strenuous preparations for war, Sir Gordon Bremer resolved to attack
Canton.  The entrance of the Canton River is called the Boca Tigris, on
either side of which were lines of defences known as the Bogue Forts,
supposed to be of great strength.  These it was necessary to silence.
The marines and other troops were sent on shore to assault the fort of
Chuenpee, on the land side, while the ships battered it from the sea.
The fort having been attacked by the troops, many of the Chinese were
shot, and a large number, not aware that quarter would be granted, threw
themselves from the battlements.  Fort Tykocktow, on the opposite side
of the river, was at the same time attacked by the _Samarang_, with
three other vessels, and a breach being effected, the boats of the
squadron, with a body of seamen, were sent on shore, who soon mastered
the place.  On the Chuenpee side was Anson's Bay, at the entrance of a
small river, here protected by an island at its mouth.  A Chinese fleet
of about 15 war-junks lay moored in shoal water, under the command of
Admiral Kwang.  The _Nemesis_, with the boats of several other ships,
was joined by Captain Belcher, of the _Sulphur_, with two of his ship's
boats, and by Lieutenant Kellett, of the _Starling_, while the _Nemesis_
soon got close enough to bring her 32-pounder pivot-guns to bear; and at
the same time one of the _Larne's_ boats, under Lieutenant Harrison,
made her way outside the island to cut off the junks in the rear.  The
first Congreve rocket fired from the _Nemesis_ having entered a large
junk near that of the admiral, she almost immediately blew up, pouring
forth a blaze like the rush of fire from a volcano, and destroying all
on board.  This so terrified the Chinese that, after a few discharges of
round-shot had been fired into other junks, the crews of many jumped
overboard, while others cut their cables in the hopes of escaping on
shore.  Some were immediately captured, others escaped up the river,
pursued by the _Nemesis_, which succeeded in bringing one down and
burning another which had grounded.

The next day Admiral Kwang sent off a boat with a flag of truce, in
which were an old man and woman, bearing proposals for the cessation of
hostilities.  They came to request Captain Elliott to meet Commissioner
Keshen, who finally agreed that the island of Hong-Kong should be ceded
to the British, on condition that the Bogue Forts should be given up,
and that, on the English captives being set at liberty, Chusan should be
evacuated.  To these terms Captain Elliott, the superintendent of trade,
agreed, and Hong-Kong was taken possession of on the 26th of January.
These terms having been rejected by the emperor, the fleet proceeded, on
the 26th of February, to the attack of the remainder of the Bogue Forts.
Their defenders were either put to flight or yielded themselves
prisoners, and in a short time the British colours were flying on the
whole chain of those celebrated works.  The next day, the 27th, the
light squadron, consisting of the _Calliope_ and _Herald_, and the
_Alligator, Sulphur, Modeste, Madagascar_, and _Nemesis_ steamers, under
Captain Herbert, were sent up to destroy any fortifications they might
meet with.  On reaching Whampoa Roads, a large armed fort, mounting 47
guns, was seen on the left bank, and extending across the river was a
line of rafts secured to sunken junks, on the other side of which were
forty large junks and the _Cambridge_, carrying the admiral's flag.  The
steamer pushing on, opened a heavy fire on the Chinese fleet, as well as
on the batteries.  For about an hour the Chinese held out, and when
their fire was nearly silenced, the marines and small-arm men being
landed, stormed the works, driving before them upwards of 2000 Chinese
troops, and killing nearly 300.  The _Cambridge_ and some of the junks
still held out, when Lieutenant Watson, first of the _Calliope_, having
gallantly succeeded in dragging one of the boats across the raft,
launched her on the other side.  As soon as she was in the water, Mr
Brown, master of the _Calliope_, Mr Hall and Mr Galbraith, of the
_Nemesis_, and Mr Saint Leger, got into her with nine or ten men, and
pulled away for the _Cambridge_.  So confused were the Chinese that, as
the boarding party climbed up on the port side, they jumped overboard on
the other, and many were drowned in attempting to swim on shore.  A
number of dead and wounded were found on her decks.  As she was an old
ship, she was doomed to destruction, and the wounded being removed, she
was set on fire, and soon afterwards blew up with a terrific explosion,
the sound of which must have reached Canton.  Numerous other forts were
destroyed in succession, as were also a considerable number of junks.
The steamers had many difficulties to encounter, as thick stockades had
been placed across the channel, through which they had to force their
way.  At length the squadron came to an anchor off Whampoa, when the
_Nemesis_ was despatched with a letter to the Chinese authorities.
Captain Bethune having undertaken to deliver it, pushed off in a boat
with a white flag, when a shower of grape and shot was discharged on her
from a fort.  In consequence of this the ships pushed on to Canton, and
opened a hot fire on the batteries which protect the city.  After the
bombardment had continued about an hour, the marines were landed,
immediately stormed, and completed the capture of the enemy's works,
notwithstanding a determined resistance on the part of the Tartars.
Captain Bourchier, in command of the blue-jackets on shore, prevented
any outbreak of the population, and he observing a number of burning
junks drifting down on the suburbs, to which they would inevitably have
set fire, by the most energetic exertions of his officers and men towed
them away from the spot.  The _Herald_ getting up later in the day, by
her imposing appearance contributed to bring the Chinese to reason, and
in a short time the British colours were hoisted on the flagstaff of the
factory by Commander Belcher.  Thus one of the most important cities of
China fell into the hands of the British, with a loss of only seven men

A truce was now agreed to, and trade was again opened, but the Chinese
very soon began to rebuild their fortifications, and to fit out junks
and fire-rafts.  The main body of the fleet having retired, a small
squadron remained in the neighbourhood of Canton.  The night of the 21st
of May was unusually dark; a sharp look-out was therefore kept, the
officers lying down in their cloaks on the decks of the ships, ready for
service.  The _Modeste_ being a little in advance, one of her sentries
observed several dark-looking masses dropping down with the stream.  On
his hailing, they were immediately set on fire by the Chinese, and the
flames bursting forth, pointed out the danger to the other vessels.  In
nine minutes the _Nemesis_ had her steam up, and was running towards the
fire-rafts to assist the boats in towing them away.  These rafts were
formed of boats chained together, so that, drifting down with the
stream, they might hang across the bows of the ships, from which they
would with much difficulty have been cleared.  The Chinese batteries at
the same time opened on the squadron, which of course fired in return,
while the small-arm men picked off the people on the fire-rafts.  In the
morning the Shameen battery was taken, and 43 war-junks and 32
fire-rafts were destroyed.  During these operations a Congreve rocket,
which had been placed in a tube and ignited, hung within it instead of
flying out.  In another moment it would have burst, scattering
destruction around, when Mr Hall thrust his arm into the tube and
forced it out from behind.  The rush of fire, however, severely burnt
his hand, and caused him much suffering.  Several other attempts to
destroy the squadron by fire-ships were defeated by the vigilance of the
officers and crews.  On one occasion, the _Wellesley_, anchored at the
Bogue, was attacked by 20 fire-vessels, filled with gunpowder and a
variety of combustibles, and chained in twos and threes.  Captain
Maitland was absent with most of her boats and a large number of her
crew and officers, and it was not without great exertion that Commander
Fletcher, who had only three boats left on board, was able to tow them
clear of the ship.

As it was evident that the Chinese still intended to hold out, the fleet
proceeded to attack Canton.  The troops and the blue-jackets, who had
been landed quickly, stormed the outer defences, while the smaller
vessels of the squadron bombarded the batteries on the river-front of
the city.  The Chinese again made use of fire-vessels, but as they drove
down rapidly towards the fleet, the boats pushing off, towed them clear
and carried them on shore, when they set fire to the suburbs.  Several
naval officers lost their lives, and others were wounded.  Lieutenant
Fox and Mr Kendall, mate, both of the _Nimrod_, each lost a leg; and
Mr Fitzgeorge, mate of the _Modeste_, was killed.  Lieutenant Fox died
the same evening.

In the course of three days the whole of the fortifications of Canton
were in the power of the British, and though the city contained an
immense army, flags of truce were waved from the walls, and the Tartar
generals came alongside humbly suing for peace, and offering six
millions of dollars for the ransom of the city.  This sum was accepted,
and sent on board the ships of war, when 18,000 Tartars marched out of
Canton.  Many officers and men suffered from the fatigues they
underwent, and Sir Humphrey Le Fleming Senhouse died in consequence of
the exertions to which he had been exposed.

The fleet now proceeding northward, on the 26th of August captured Amoy,
a place of considerable importance, about 300 miles north of Hong-Kong.
The Chinese fought with more courage and stubbornness than usual, but
were driven out of their fortifications by the ships, when the troops,
the blue-jackets as usual playing their part, stormed and carried the
place.  Chusan, which had been given up to the Chinese, was next
recaptured, after which Chinghai, a strong place situated at the mouth
of the Takia River, was attacked.  It was surrounded by a wall 2 miles
in circumference, 37 feet thick, and 22 feet high, mounted by 69 heavy
guns and numberless jingalls.  A lofty and precipitous hill, with a
citadel on the summit, commanded the town; stockades had been driven
into the water in front of all the batteries and landing-places, and an
army of 10,000 men lay encamped, with numerous guns, a short distance
from the bank of the river.  The ships approached till they touched the
ground, when they opened their fire, and a breach was soon effected in
the citadel.  On this it was stormed by the blue-jackets and marines,
when the garrison effected their escape into the city, the walls of
which were then scaled in two places, and Chinghai was captured.
Ningpo, higher up the river, was taken with even less difficulty.  A
desperate attempt was afterwards made to recapture the latter place, but
the Chinese were repulsed with dreadful slaughter; while another attempt
to burn the ships of war by fire-vessels was also defeated.  Not less
than 50 or 60 fire-rafts were seen coming down together, burning
furiously, but the boats of the ships were ready, and grappling them
bravely, towed them clear of the fleet.

Still, as the Chinese showed no readiness to come to terms, another
town, which lies on the opposite side of the bay in which Chinghai is
situated, called Chapoo, was attacked.  Sir William Parker landed with a
battalion of seamen and marines under Captain Bourchier, while the
troops, headed by Sir Hugh Gough, drove the enemy before them.  A large
body of Tartars had thrown themselves into a building of considerable
strength, and in attempting to enter it, Colonel Tomlinson, of the 18th,
and a number of his men were killed.  Mr Hall, Lieutenant Fitzjames,
and other naval officers made several gallant attempts to force their
way in.  At length the gate was blown open by a powder-bag; many of the
defenders were destroyed, and fifty captured.  The loss of the British
was considerable.  The Chinese wounded received great attention from the
British medical officers; a conduct appreciated by the governor of
Chapoo, who thanked the admiral and general, and when some English fell
into the hands of the Chinese, they in return were treated with every

Before the expedition left Chapoo, all the Chinese prisoners were set at
liberty, each man receiving three dollars; when the Chinese, not to be
out-done in liberality, restored all the persons they had kidnapped,
giving thirty dollars to each white man and fifteen to each native of

As the numerous places which had hitherto been taken were at a distance
from the capital, the emperor still hoped that he might set the British
at defiance.  It was determined, therefore, to attack Nankin itself, the
second city in the empire, situated about 200 miles up the great river
Yang'tse Kiang, or Yellow River.  The difficulties of the navigation had
hitherto been considered an insuperable obstacle; although the river is
of great size, the current runs with prodigious force, and there are
numerous shoals and rocks in its course.  The river, however, was
surveyed by Commanders Kellett and Collinson, and as they reported that
water for the largest ships was found right up to Nankin, the admiral
undertook to carry the whole of the fleet up to the walls of that city.
Woosung and Shanghai, situated on the banks of a river which falls into
the sea at the entrance of the Yang'tse Kiang, were first captured, and
on the 6th of July, 1842, a fleet of nearly 80 sail, including among
them the _Cornwallis_, of 72 guns, Sir William Parker's flag-ship, in
five divisions, sailed up the mighty stream on their voyage of 200 miles
into the very heart of China.  Before reaching Nankin they came off the
large city of Chin Keang Foo, near which passes the great canal of
China.  It was captured on the 20th by the troops, aided by a body of
seamen and marines under Captain Peter Richards, who scaled the walls on
one side while the soldiers got over on another.  The Tartars fought
with the most determined bravery, holding every house and street,
resolved to sell their lives dearly.  Frequently, on being defeated,
they put an end to themselves, and often destroyed their wives and
children.  Lieutenant Fitzjames distinguished himself in the attack,
having brought up some rockets which, fired among the enemy, threw them
into confusion.  The gate of the city was just then blown open by
powder-bags, when Sir Hugh Gough, who was with the third brigade,
accompanied by Sir William Parker, dashed over the ruins.  They were
met, after fighting their way for some distance, by a sudden fire from a
body of Tartars, when Lieutenant Fitzjames and several men were wounded.
The British, however, uttering a loud cheer, attacked the Tartars with
such fury that they were soon put to flight, when numbers fell by their
own hands.  The British were speedily in entire possession of the city.
Every means was taken to spare life, to prevent plunder, and to restore
order.  During these operations several vessels of the fleet were
employed in blockading the mouths of the great canal, in capturing all
the trading junks which came in sight, and in preventing provisions
being carried to the city.  Still, it was necessary in order to bring
the emperor to reason, for the fleet to appear before the walls of
Nankin.  Having been detained by contrary winds, it was not till the 4th
of August that the ships could get up, carrying 4500 troops, besides
marines and blue-jackets.  The _Cornwallis_ and _Blonde_ then took up
their positions within one thousand paces of the Ifung Gate of Nankin,
and every arrangement was made for the troops to attack the city.
Before the British proceeded to extremities, the emperor having been
informed the true state of affairs, authorised his commissioner to treat
for peace, and on the 29th of August the treaty for which the British
had been so long contending was signed on board the _Cornwallis_.  Among
other clauses, China agreed to pay twenty-one millions of dollars;
Canton, Amoy, Foo-Chow, Ningpo, and Shanghai, were thrown open to
British commerce, Hong-Kong was ceded in perpetuity to Her Britannic
Majesty; all British subjects imprisoned in China were to be released,
and correspondence was in future to be conducted on terms of perfect
equality between the officers of both governments.  Thus the war in
which the navy of England had played so conspicuous a part was
terminated.  Its greatest achievement, however, was the passage of the
fleet 200 miles up the river, and its return without the loss of a
single vessel.  This, however, could not have been effected without
steamers, which, besides towing the sailing ships, performed important
parts in all the operations of the war.  Among those who especially
distinguished themselves by their activity were Commander Belcher,
afterwards Sir Edward Belcher, Mr Hall, of the _Nemesis_, who was
deservedly made a lieutenant and commander, and is now Admiral Sir W.H.
Hall, Commanders Kellett, Collinson, and Fitzjames, well known as Arctic
explorers, Lieutenant McCleverty, and the bravest among the brave,
Captain Loch, who fell in Burmah.

Destruction of Pirates in the Indian and China Seas.

For many years the pirates of the Eastern Archipelago and China seas had
committed depredations on the commerce of the more peaceably-disposed
people of that part of the world, and had frequently attacked
merchant-vessels belonging to the English, as well as those of other
nations, generally treating the prisoners they captured with the
greatest barbarity.  So audacious had they become that in 1836 the
Governor-General of India determined to put an end to their proceedings,
and Captain Chads, of the _Andromache_ frigate, was sent into those seas
to destroy as many piratical fleets and strongholds as he could fall in
with.  The pirate proas are vessels of considerable size, upwards of 60
feet in length and 12 in beam; though, as they draw scarcely four feet
of water, they can run up into shallow rivers and escape.  Each proa
carried about 80 men, with a 12-pounder in the bows, 3 or 4 smaller
pivot-guns, besides jingalls, stink-pots, spears, and the murderous kris
which each man wore at his side.  The crew in action were protected by a
bulwark four or five feet high, thick enough to withstand musket-balls
and grape-shot.  They sailed in fleets of twenty or thirty vessels
together, and were thus more than a match for any British merchantman,
even though well-armed, they were likely to fall in with.  The boats of
the frigate, however, pursued them into their strongholds, and piracy in
the neighbourhood of the Malay peninsula was for a time put a stop to.
It existed, however, to a far greater degree in other parts of the
Eastern seas, and it was not till 1843, that Rajah Brooke had
established himself at Sarawak, on the western side of Borneo, that far
more strenuous efforts than heretofore were employed against those pests
of commerce.  Several of the ships of war which had been engaged in the
operations against China, on the conclusion of peace, were despatched to
the assistance of Rajah Brooke in his noble and philanthropic object.
Among the officers employed in the service were the Honourable Captain
Keppel, of the _Dido_ frigate, Sir Edward Belcher, of the _Samarang_,
Captain Nicholas Vansittart, of the _Magician_, Captain Edward
Vansittart, of the _Bittern_, Commander Fellowes, of the _Rattler_,
Captain Mundy, of the _Iris_, besides many others.  The _Nemesis_ and
_Phlegethon_, which had been so actively engaged in China, were sent
with other steamers belonging to the East India Company.  Sir Thomas
Cochrane, commander-in-chief on the Indian station, also visited Borneo
in his flag-ship the _Agincourt_, to superintend the operations which
were now energetically pursued for the destruction of the pirates.
There is no space to give more than an example of the sort of service in
which the smaller vessels and the boats of the squadron were chiefly
engaged against the common enemy.

The chief of a piratical band, Sherif Osman, had entrenched himself in a
strong position on the banks of the River Songibusar, which falls into
the bay of Malludu, near Labuan, in Borneo; and as it was of the
greatest importance to destroy him, an expedition, under the command of
Captain Talbot, was sent up the river for that purpose.  It consisted of
the _Vixen, Nemesis_, and _Pluto_ steamers, and the boats of the
_Agincourt, Daedalus, Vestal, Cruiser_, and _Wolverine_, several of them
carrying guns in their bows, and another furnished with rockets.
Altogether, the force consisted of 350 blue-jackets and above 200
marines.  After working his way up the river, Captain Talbot came in
sight of the enemy posted in two forts, mounting about twelve guns, and
protected by a strong and well-contrived boom.  Before the fight
commenced, Sherif Osman sent a flag of truce begging to confer with
Rajah Brooke, and hearing that he was not present, he invited Captain
Talbot to meet him, offering to admit two gigs to be hauled over the
boom.  This being declined, the enemy opened their fire.  Before the
boats could advance, it was necessary to cut away the boom.  While thus
employed, axe in hand, a gallant young officer, Gibbard, of the
_Wolverine_, fell mortally wounded.  All the time the boats were under a
heavy fire, to which they replied with their guns.  The boom was
fastened to the chain-cable of a vessel of three or four hundred tons.
It was at length cut through, when the marines and small-arm men
landing, carried the place after a desperate resistance, with a loss of
6 killed, 2 mortally wounded, and 15 severely wounded.  The loss of the
enemy was proportionably great.  Sherif Osman was wounded dangerously,
and though he managed to get off, it was supposed that he soon
afterwards died in the jungle.  In the forts were discovered numerous
evidences of the piratical character of the defenders; several
chain-cables, two ships' bells, a ship's long-boat, and ships' furniture
of various descriptions.  Some piratical Illanun and Balagnini boats
were burnt, and twenty-four brass guns and several iron ones captured.
Thus this piratical nest was completely destroyed.

In the year 1846, several chiefs friendly to the English and opposed to
piracy having been cruelly murdered by the Sultan of Brunei Sir Thomas
Cochrane determined to destroy his city.  There being sufficient water
over the bar of the river, the _Agincourt_, towed by the _Spiteful_
steamer, entered it and anchored within Moarra Island.  The smaller
vessels being lightened, proceeded up the river, carrying a force of 200
marines and 600 blue-jackets armed as light-infantry, accompanied by the
boats of the squadron towed by the steamers.  On turning an angle of the
river four batteries were seen, two of which were directly ahead, while
the stream was staked across.  As the squadron was making its way
through the piles, the enemy's fire opened at a distance of 1000 yards.
The round and grape passed between the masts of the _Phlegethon_ and
beyond the _Spiteful_, without striking.  The guns having been pointed
at the stakes, the _Phlegethon_ immediately returned the compliment with
rockets and her pivot-guns.  After an hour's cannonade, Captain Mundy
shoved off in the gunboats, Lieutenant Patey being ordered to pull for
the shore and to storm the batteries which were erected on a precipice
nearly a hundred feet in height from the bank of the river.  So heavy,
however, had been the fire from the steamer and gunboats that the
resolution of the enemy failed them, and the gallant crews forced their
way through the embrasures.  In capturing the enemy's flag a skirmish
took place between their rear-guard and the leading party of the
British, while the former were endeavouring to escape into the jungle.
Three handsome brass guns were carried off, the iron guns were spiked,
and the magazines destroyed.  The steamer then taking the _Royalist_ and
gunboats in tow, passed two other batteries and anchored half-a-mile
below the city, when all hands went to dinner.  At half-past one the
expedition was again in motion, working up against an ebb tide of three
knots.  As the _Phlegethon_ opened round the point, the city battery and
hill forts mounting 18 guns, commenced firing, and two men were killed
and several wounded on board the _Phlegethon_.  She, however, opened a
hot fire, and Captain Mundy shoving off in the gunboats, attacked the
batteries at close quarters; but before he could reach them, the enemy
fled.  Nine shot had entered the _Phlegethon's_ side below the
water-line; and had she not been divided into compartments, she would
inevitably have sunk.  The marines were now landed and occupied the
heights above the sultan's palace, the batteries on which had been
silenced by the rocket and field-piece party under Lieutenant Paynter.
The pirates had in the meantime manned the batteries already passed, on
which Captain Mundy was sent down with the gunboats to destroy them.
This he partially did in five hours, but so great was their strength
that it would have taken days to do so effectually.  Thirty-nine guns,
mostly of large calibre, nineteen of them being of brass, fell into the
hands of the British.  The sultan and his boasted army had taken to
flight.  He was accordingly pursued by a party under Captain Mundy, to
whom Lieutenant Vansittart acted as aide-de-camp.  Having gone as far as
they could in the boats, they landed, and in their progress destroyed
several newly--erected forts.  The natives now observing that no injury
was done to private property, joined them and offered their services as
guides.  On their way they fell in with two houses belonging to the
sultan, containing shields, arms, and magazines of powder.  They were
accordingly set on fire and destroyed, but the sultan himself escaped
for the time, though his power was completely broken.

The towns of Pandassan and Tampassuck, notorious haunts of Illaun
pirates, were destroyed by Captains McQuhae and Mundy, and numerous
piratical proas captured, sunk, or burnt.  The fierce and desperate
character of the pirates was shown on all occasions.  The _Ringdove_,
Commander Sir William Hoste, having taken a proa, she was brought under
the counter of the brig.  From the way in which the crew behaved, it was
doubted whether she was really a pirate, but as a protection a guard of
three marines and several seamen was placed over them.  Suddenly, during
the night, they rose without the slightest warning and flew
simultaneously with their krises upon the seamen and marines, and before
the latter could defend themselves, one marine was killed and the
remainder of the guard severely wounded.  As the unfortunate marine fell
into the hold of the proa, the pirate chief seized his musket and fired
it at the officer standing at the gangway.  Another desperado, lunging
his spear through the after-port of the brig, mortally wounded the
master.  The pirates then cut the hawser, and seizing their paddles,
made off for the shore.  The boats were immediately manned and sent in
chase, when in ten minutes the proa was boarded, upon which the pirates
retreated below, and with their long spears through the bamboo-deck made
a desperate defence, but finally, refusing quarter, were slain to a man,
and the proa was sunk by the guns of the pinnace.

The piratical fleets cruising off the coast of China committed even
greater depredations on commerce, as well as on the population of the
sea-board, than even those in the Indian seas.  Captain Edward
Vansittart, in command of the _Bittern_, was sent against them with two
steamers fitted out by the Chinese merchants.  The latter were manned
chiefly from an American frigate, the _Macedonian_, then cruising off
the coast.  After a search of some days he discovered a flotilla of
nearly forty junks, which bore down on him with tom-toms beating,
evidently intending to fight.  In order to draw them off the shore, he
stood away, but as they would not follow the _Bittern_ out of shoal
water, she again steered towards them, yawing to bring her guns to bear,
while they kept up a steady fire on her.  She, however, sank or disabled
eight of them, but the rest for a time escaped.  Commander Vansittart
was, however, able to set free a number of merchant-vessels up different
rivers in the neighbourhood, which had been afraid to put to sea on
account of the pirates, who had demanded 1200 dollars for the ransom of
each vessel.  The following day he captured twelve more, each carrying
10 guns with a crew of 50 men.  Proceeding northwards, he reached the
mouth of the Yang'tse Kiang, where he heard that a strong squadron of
pirates had been blockading the island of Potoo, in which place a party
of English ladies had taken refuge.  On pursuing them, towed by the
_Poushan_ to Sheepoo, he discovered twenty-two junks lashed head and
stern together across the entrance to the harbour.  As the _Bittern_
approached, the pirates commenced a vigorous cannonade, to which she,
however, returned so hot a fire that in little more than an hour she had
knocked the greater number to pieces, one junk alone being in a
condition to carry off.  No prisoners were made, but the pirates as they
escaped to the shore were put to death by the inhabitants.  Commander
Creswell, in the _Surprise_, and Captain N. Vansittart, in the
_Magician_, were equally successful in other directions.  The latter had
under his command the _Inflexible_, Commander Brooker, with the _Plover_
and _Algerine_ gunboats.  As he proceeded, reports reached him of the
atrocities committed by the pirates, and the natives were everywhere
ready to give him accurate intelligence of their hiding-places.  As they
saw the British squadron, they took refuge when they could on
uninhabited islands; when they escaped to the mainland the people of the
country put them to death without mercy.  As he was engaged in burning
some captured junks, a sound of firing from the shore reached him.
Immediately landing with a party of his men, he pushed in the direction
from which the firing proceeded.  He did not allow a gun to be
discharged till he was within pistol-shot, so that the enemy were not
aware of his approach.  The whole of his party then opened their fire,
and the pirates taken by surprise, scampered off without an attempt at
resistance.  The British having clambered over a formidable stockade,
found themselves in a battery of 14 heavy guns, which must have
contained a garrison strong enough to offer a successful resistance had
the pirates fought with any courage.

Six large junks were soon afterwards met with, the whole of which were
captured, and the crews of every one killed or made prisoners, besides
which upwards of twenty prisoners taken by the pirates were released.
Soon afterwards, while pursuing a pirate up a creek, his own light gig
being far ahead of the heavier boats, he came up with the chase, which
with his small party he gallantly boarded, several of her crew being
killed, among which was Chappoo, a pirate chief long the terror of those
seas.  Altogether, in a week's cruise he had destroyed a 14-gun battery
and 100 piratical craft, and had taken upwards of 200 guns and 36
pirates, besides having killed nearly 400 more.  He had, in addition,
retaken six vessels and liberated sixty prisoners captured by the

One more example alone can be given of the expeditions against the
pirates of those seas.  On the 30th of January, 1849, news was brought
to Sir James Brooke that a large fleet of pirates had attacked the
neighbouring village of Palo, and had threatened with destruction the
inhabitants of the Sarabas River.  A force, consisting of H.M. brigs
_Albatross_ and _Royalist_, with the _Nemesis_ and _Renee_, under the
orders of Commander Farquhar, immediately got under way, accompanied by
a native flotilla, under Rajah Brooke, and proceeded to meet them.  The
_Nemesis_ steamed out to sea to prevent their escape in that direction,
and as soon as she was descried by the pirates they made at once for the
Kaluka River, where they were intercepted by the native boats and those
commanded by Lieutenants Welmshurst and Everest.  The pirates then made
a dash to reach their river, when they came in contact with the
men-of-war's boats.  It being now dark, there was considerable danger
that the latter would fire into each other, or into the craft of their
native allies.  The password was "Rajah," and the Malays screamed this
out at the top of their voices when they thought any of the Europeans
were near them.  Commander Farquhar seeing two large proas escaping
seaward, ordered the steam-tender to chase.  The nearest one, having
barely escaped one of her 6-pounder rockets, made for the river, but in
her course was encountered by the _Nemesis_, which dealing death and
destruction to all around her, ran her down, and a fearful scene took
place as her crew, above sixty in number, came in contact with the
paddle-wheels.  A large Congreve rocket from the smaller steamer entered
a proa which had stood out to sea, and completely destroyed her.  The
battle continued till past midnight, when Commander Farquhar, taking the
boats in tow, commenced the ascent of the Sarabas, to prevent the escape
of the pirates by the Rembas branch.  At daylight the whole bay
presented one mass of wreck, shields, spears and portions of destroyed
proas, extending as far as the eye could reach, as well as on the sandy
spit which extends a considerable distance seawards.  On the left bank
of the Sarabas were upwards of seventy proas, which the natives were
busy clearing of all valuables and destroying.  Of 120 proas which are
said to have started on a piratical expedition, more than 80 were
destroyed, with 1200 men.  No more convincing proof of the inhuman
disposition of the pirates need be cited than the fact that the bodies
of women, supposed to have been captives taken by the pirates, were
found on the beach decapitated and gashed from the shoulder to the feet.
On sailing up the river the force destroyed a piratical town, some
villages and war-proas, and then passing the Rejang River, chastised
another tribe of pirates.  Some prisoners were secured, among whom was a
child, apparently of European origin.  In other districts hostages were
taken for the future peaceable demeanour of the inhabitants.  By this
severe example it was hoped that the piratical habits of the people
would be effectually checked, and an opportunity given to the nascent
civilisation of those regions to develop itself.


The horrible traffic in slaves has been carried on from the west coast
of Africa to the American continent since Sir John Hawkins shipped his
first cargo of blacks for the Spanish settlements, to supply the loss of
the mild and yielding natives of the New World destroyed by the avarice
and cruelty of their task-masters.  The vessels which trafficked in
slaves ran down the coast, touching at all the principal native
settlements, and purchased such slaves as were offered for sale until
their cargoes were completed.  Sometimes a well-armed slaver carried off
by force the negroes on board another slaver ready to sail, and unable
to defend herself.  After a time, regular slave-dealers established
themselves on the coast, and induced the natives to make war on each
other, in order that those captured might be brought to them for sale.
There were at convenient points along the coast forts and stations
established by the British and other European Governments for the very
purpose of facilitating the slave-trade.  At length, by the
indefatigable efforts of Wilberforce and other philanthropic men, the
British public were taught to look on the slave-trade in all its dark
and revolting colours.  The British slave-trade was abolished on the 1st
of January, 1808.  At first only a fine was inflicted on those convicted
of slave-dealing, but in 1824 the offence was declared to be piracy, and
punishable by death.  In 1837 the punishment inflicted on British
subjects for trading in slaves was changed to transportation for life.
On the trade being declared illegal, it was abandoned at all European
settlements, with the exception of those belonging to the Spaniards and
Portuguese, who, determining to persist in it, had adopted a new mode of
operations.  They had erected barracoons on those parts of the coast
where slaves could be collected with the greatest ease.  At stated
periods vessels visited them, and took away the slaves without being
detained on the coast more than twenty-four hours, and often a less
time.  They had from forty to fifty points where barracoons were placed,
and many thousands of slaves every year were exported from them.  A
slave factory consists of several large dwelling-houses for the managers
and clerks, and of huge stores for the reception of goods, sometimes to
the amount of 100,000 pounds.  To these are attached barracoons or sheds
made of heavy piles driven deep into the earth, lashed together with
bamboos, and thatched with palm-leaves.  In these barracoons the slaves,
when purchased, are imprisoned, till shipped on board a slave-vessel.
If the barracoon be a large one, there is a centre row of piles, and
along each line of piles is a chain, and at intervals of about two feet
is a large neck-link, in one of which each slave is padlocked.  Should
this method be insufficient, two, and sometimes when the slaves appear
unusually strong, three are shackled together--the strong man being
placed between two others and heavily ironed; and often beaten half to
death beforehand to ensure his being quiet.  The floor is planked, not
from any regard to the comfort of the slave, but because a small insect
being in the soil might deteriorate the merchandise by causing a
cutaneous disease.  Night and day these barracoons are guarded by armed
men, and the slightest insubordination immediately punished.

In building a slaver, the Spaniards and Portuguese spare no expense in
order to make her light and buoyant.  Her timbers and beams are small,
and screwed together.  When chased, the screws are loosened, to give the
vessel play.  Within her hold are erected huge water-casks called
leaguers, on these are stowed the provisions, wood, etcetera; above this
is the slave-deck.  Thirty-six inches may be considered a medium height,
but they sometimes measure 4 feet 6 inches, though occasionally only 14
or 18 inches, intended for the stowage of children.  The upper-deck is
generally clear, except of the sweeps or oars for calms, there is a
covered sleeping-place, about 6 feet long by 3 feet wide, on each side,
for the captain and pilot.  Some used to carry guns, but of late years
few do so.  They mostly have but one small boat.  The sails, on account
of the frequency and force of the tornados, are very low and bent broad.
Thus, the foreyard of a brig of about 140 tons, taken by H.M. ship
_Dolphin_, was 76 feet long, and her ropes so beautifully racked aloft
that after a cannonade of sixty shot, in which upwards of fifty had
taken effect, not one sail was lowered.  The following are the articles
by which a slaver can be condemned if found on board:--A slave-deck, or
planks ready for a deck; slave irons and slave coppers, which are a
large cooking apparatus for the slaves and crew, standing generally
amidships on the upper-deck; an extra quantity of farina, rice, water,
or other provisions, which cannot be accounted for.  The horrors of a
full slaver almost defy description.  Arrived on the coast and the port
reached, if no man-of-war be on the coast, two hours suffice to place
400 human beings on board.  On the slaves being received, the largest
men are picked out as head-men, and these dividing the slaves into
gangs, according to the size of the vessel, of from ten to twenty, keep
them in order.  A slave-deck is divided into two unequal parts, the
larger for the men, the other for women and children.  The stowage is
managed entirely by the head-men, who take care that the strongest
slaves should be farthest from the ship's side, or from any position in
which their strength might avail them to secure a larger space than
their neighbours.  The form of stowage is that the poor wretch shall be
seated on the beams, and the head thrust between the knees, so close
that when one moves the mass must move also.  The slaves feed twice
a-day, and in order to give room, one-half are allowed at a time on deck
at the hour of the meal.  They are arranged into messes, and when all is
ready, at a signal from the head-men, they commence.  The food consists
of either rice, carabansas, a kind of bean, or farina, the flour of the
cassava boiled.  After each meal they are made to sing to digest their
food, and then the water is served out, the fullest nominal allowance of
which is one quart to each daily, though seldom more than a pint.  Irons
are seldom used on board, only in case of a mutiny, or if closely chased
by a man-of-war, in which case the condition of the slaves becomes truly
dreadful; they are all barred below for fear of their rising, are seldom
watered till the chase be over, that may last two or three days, while
everything that can be thought of to make the vessel sail is done,
whatever misery it may cost the cargo.  Often some of the unfortunate
wretches are thrown overboard in empty casks or lashed to floats, in the
hope that the cruiser will stop to pick them up, and thus delay the
chase.  In many instances, when slaves have been captured, twenty or
thirty, or even more, have been found dead on board, while the rest have
been in a most horribly suffering condition.  Indeed, the operation of
taking off the hatches of a captured slaver, from the effluvium which
arises, is sufficient to try the strongest stomachs, while the hearts of
the captors cannot fail to be touched by the dreadful sufferings of
their fellow-creatures which they are doomed to witness.  Of late years
the slave-trade from the West Coast has been carried on chiefly by fast
steamers, but as the men-of-war engaged in the blockade are also
steamers, the slave-dealers have found the trade a losing one, so that
on the whole of the West Coast there are very few points from which
slaves are shipped.  From the early part of the century, British
men-of-war have been employed on the African coast blockade, but for a
long time, as only a few 10-gun brigs, and they inefficient vessels,
were sent out, and as there were scarcely ever more than six cruisers at
a time on the coast, during twenty years, from 1819 to 1839, only 333
slave-vessels were captured; whereas after that period a superior class
of 16 and 18-gun brigs and sloops of war, and latterly fast
screw-steamers, fitted for sailing as well as for steaming, were
employed; and during the next eleven years 744 slave-vessels were
captured.  As up to probably two-thirds of those engaged in the trade
escaped, we may have some idea of the vast number of blacks carried into
captivity to America and the West Indies.

As for many years to blockade a coast-line of 3000 miles and upwards,
only a few 10-gun brigs were employed, they being generally slow craft
and very crank, in the open sea the fast-sailing slavers managed easily
to escape from them.  Captures, therefore, were mostly effected by their
boats, which were sent up the rivers to lie in wait for the slavers, or
to attack them when they were known to be at anchor.  This species of
service caused a great mortality among their crews, as a night spent in
the pestiferous miasma of an African river was sufficient to produce
fever among all those exposed to it, while the hot sun of the day was
almost equally trying to English constitutions.  Thus for many years the
mortality among the blockading squadron was very great, and vessels have
been known to return home with scarcely men sufficient to work them, and
under charge of a master's assistant, or on one occasion the purser's
clerk, all the superior officers having died or been invalided.
Sometimes the boats were sent away for days, and even weeks together, to
watch for slavers, and were thus often successful in capturing them when
their ships had failed to do so.  In this way a mate of the _Hyacinth_,
Mr Tottenham, who was a remarkably good shot, in a four-oared gig
chased a slave-brig, armed with a long gun and a number of muskets.
Having succeeded with his rifle in picking off four of the slaver's
crew, he compelled her to run on shore to avoid being boarded; the
survivors of the crew, eighteen in number, then abandoning her, she was
hove off by the _Hyacinth_, and proved to be of 200 tons, fitted for
carrying a thousand slaves, and armed with two guns, and a number of
muskets, swords, and bayonets.

Prizes were carried to Sierra Leone for adjudication, often with several
hundred negroes on board.  To preserve the rescued blacks in health was
an onerous care to the captors; and instances have occurred where the
greater number of the prize-crew have died from fever.  Such was the
case with the _Doris_, a small schooner captured by the _Dolphin_; her
gunner, who was put in charge, with nearly all his men having died, so
that she was found boxing about some twenty miles below Acra, without
any one to navigate her.  Lieutenant Augustus Murray, with a crew of two
men and two boys, and a black who had survived the fever, was then put
on board on August the 12th.  Sickness attacked the lieutenant and his
small crew, heavy gales came on, the schooner became so leaky that it
was with difficulty she was kept afloat, she narrowly escaped capture by
a slaver, the canvas was blown away, and finally calms came, succeeded
by terrific storms, so that almost five months elapsed before the
sorely-battered craft and her almost starved crew reached Sierra Leone.

Experience at length taught the officers of the squadron the means of
combating the deadly effects of the climate, and preserving the health
of their crews.  The men were not allowed to leave the ship early in the
morning without taking hot cocoa and an ample supply of nourishing food.
They were clothed in thick flannel suits, were not allowed to remain up
the rivers at night, and the use of quinine was introduced.  By these
means the crews were preserved in health, and only during very sickly
seasons was there any great mortality among them; indeed, of late years,
vessels have returned from the coast without the loss of a man.

Most of the slavers were unarmed, and those carrying guns rarely
attempted to defend themselves when overtaken, although they might have
fired to knock away the spars of their pursuers.  Occasionally, when
attacked by a vessel inferior to themselves, or by one or two boats, a
slaver's crew fought desperately.  One of the most gallant actions was
fought by the _Black Joke_, a schooner, commanded by Lieutenant Ramsey.
She carried but one long heavy pivot-gun and a carronade, and had, all
told, a crew only of 44 officers and men.  Lieutenant Ramsey got
intelligence that a brigantine, the _Marinereto_, of large size and
great speed, and armed with five Impounder guns, and a crew of nearly 80
men, was lying in the Old Calabar River with a cargo of slaves destined
for Cuba.  She was commanded by a determined fellow, who had vowed he
would never be captured, it was said, and was especially anxious to meet
the _Black Joke_ to punish her on account of the slavers she had already
taken.  Lieutenant Ramsey at once stood down for the Calabar River.  As
she could not enter it, he kept close off it by night, and stood away
from the land during the day, that the slaver, not knowing of his
presence, might venture to put to sea.  After waiting for some days, the
slaver was seen under all sail coming down the river.  The _Black Joke_
at once lowered her canvas, that she might remain concealed from the
slaver's view as long as possible.  On again hoisting it, the
_Marinereto_, notwithstanding her commander's boastings, made all sail
to avoid her, while Lieutenant Ramsey, setting all the canvas he could
carry, stood after her in chase.  Still, as the _Marinereto_ was by far
the faster vessel of the two, there was every chance of her escaping;
when, fortunately, a calm came on, and both vessels got out their
sweeps.  The _Black Joke_ had now an advantage, as, from her small size,
her crew were able to row her rapidly through the water.  Keeping the
chase in sight all night, by the next morning Lieutenant Ramsey got her
within range.  Knowing, however, that she had a closely-packed cargo of
slaves on board, he refrained from firing for fear of injuring them,
although the brigantine was cutting his rigging to pieces with her shot.
At length he got sufficiently close to aim only at the slaver's decks,
and having loaded his guns with grape, and ordered two men to be ready
to lash the vessels together directly they touched, he directed the rest
of the crew to lie down to avoid the enemy's shot.  He now ran the chase
on board, discharging into her both his guns, and, under cover of the
smoke, gallantly sprang on her deck, followed by a portion of his crew.
The greater number, however, were prevented from boarding, as no sooner
did the _Black Joke_ strike the slaver than the force of the collision
drove her off, and the gallant lieutenant, with only ten of his people,
found himself opposed to the eighty miscreants who formed the slaver's
crew, several of whom were either Englishmen or Americans, who,
consequently, fought with the greatest desperation.  In spite of the
gallantry of the British, they ran a great risk of being overpowered,
but, happily, a midshipman, Mr Hinds, then scarcely fifteen years old,
had the presence of mind to order the crew to get out their sweeps, and,
succeeding in again getting alongside the slaver, she was securely
lashed to the _Black Joke_.  Young Hinds then calling on his companions
to follow, dashed on board the slaver, and, after a desperate
hand-to-hand conflict, during which one of the British crew was killed
and seven wounded, they cut-down and killed fifteen Spaniards, and
wounded a good many more, the survivors, who still greatly outnumbered
the victors, leaping below and crying out for quarter.  Nearly 500
blacks were found on board, but as the hatches had been fastened down
directly the _Black Joke_ had been seen, and the chase had lasted
upwards of twenty-four hours, above twenty of the blacks had died, and
sixty were dying, from want of air.  The prize was carried to Fernando
Po, where the survivors were liberated.  Lieutenant Ramsey was
immediately promoted to the rank of commander.  The officers and crews
engaged in the service had to go through no common dangers.  A Brazilian
schooner, the _Felicidade_, had been captured by the _Wasp_, when, with
the exception of the captain of the prize and another man, the crew were
transferred to her, and Lieutenant Stupart, with Mr Palmer, midshipman,
and a crew of fifteen seamen, remained in charge of the slaver.  On her
way to Sierra Leone the _Felicidade_ chased and captured the _Echo_,
with a crew of 28 men and 430 slaves.  Lieutenant Stupart taking charge
of the more valuable prize, left Mr Palmer in command of the
_Felicidade_, with 7 Englishmen and 2 Kroomen.  Unfortunately the
captain and several of the _Echo's_ crew were sent on board her as
prisoners.  Some days afterwards the _Felicidade_ was seen by H.M. ship
_Star_, Commander Dunlop, and on being chased made every effort to
escape.  When boarded the crew fled below; many of them were wounded,
while there were evident traces that a severe struggle had taken place,
and articles belonging to English seamen being found, there could be no
doubt that the prize-crew had risen on Mr Palmer and his men, and
murdered the whole of them.  Captain Dunlop taking out the prisoners,
left Lieutenant Wilson and nine men in charge of the _Felicidade_, with
directions to proceed to Sierra Leone.  She never reached her
destination, having shortly afterwards been capsized, when she sank, a
portion of her bow-rail alone remaining above water.  To this Lieutenant
Wilson and his people clung, and contrived to form a raft, on which two
Kroomen and three of the seamen perished, but Lieutenant Wilson, with
four survivors, after remaining twenty days on their raft, being
supported chiefly by the flesh of a shark caught with a bowling-knot,
were picked up after undergoing fearful hardships, and ultimately
recovered their health.

Not only were the squadron engaged in capturing slavers at sea, but
whenever it could be legally done, the boats were sent on shore to
destroy the slave barracoons, and to set the occupants at liberty.  This
was often dangerous work, for whenever the slave-dealers thought they
could do so with success, they did not scruple with their armed men to
fire on their assailants.  One of the most important services, however,
rendered by the squadron was the capture of Lagos, in the Bight of
Benin, under Commodore Bruce, in 1851.  It had hitherto been one of the
chief slave-marts, and its rulers had encouraged the tribes in the
interior to make war on each other, for the sake of the captives they
might bring to them.  Two brothers, the younger of whom, Akitoye, had
succeeded by his father's will as king, the elder, Kosako, having for
misbehaviour been banished, it gave an opening for the interference of
the English.  Akitoye having recalled Kosako, the latter rebelled and
usurped the government, compelling Akitoye to take refuge at Badagry.
On this Kosako was preparing to attack Badagry, and would certainly have
invaded Abbeokuta, the centre of Christianity and civilisation in that
part of Africa, when Mr Beecroft, the British agent on the coast,
applied to Commodore Bruce for a force to destroy Lagos.  The
_Bloodhound_, steamer, with a small squadron of boats, was accordingly
sent up, but was fired on by Kosako's people.  In consequence, the town
was attacked and entered, with the loss of two British officers and
several men wounded.  As their force was inadequate to hold the place,
the English were compelled to retire.  As soon as a sufficient number of
vessels could be collected, another expedition was sent against Lagos,
which arrived before it on the 26th of December, 1851.  As neither the
_Penelope_ nor the flag-ship of Commodore Bruce, nor any of the larger
vessels, could cross the bar, the _Bloodhound_ and _Teaser_ only, with
the boats of the squadron strongly armed, were sent in, under the
command of Captain Lewis Jones, of the _Sampson_, with Commander Henry
Lister, of the _Penelope_, as his second.  The expedition was joined by
the ex-king Akitoye, and upwards of 600 men, who were landed in some
canoes captured by Lieutenant Saumarez.  Lagos was strongly fortified;
the people also had long been trained to arms, and possessed at least
5000 muskets and 60 pieces of cannon, so that the work undertaken was of
no contemptible character.  As the _Bloodhound_ and _Teaser_ with the
boats approached the stockades, they were received with a hot fire from
the guns, jingalls, and muskets of the negroes, which was returned with
round-shot and rockets from the steamers and boats.  An attempt at
landing was made by a party under Lieutenant Saumarez with the boats of
the _Sampson_, but so hot was the fire through which they had to pass,
that before they got on shore, Mr Richards, a gallant young midshipman,
was killed, and 10 men severely wounded.  An attempt was then made to
force their way through the stockades, but, after some men had been hit,
Lieutenant Saumarez among them, he was compelled to retire.  The
_Teaser_ having unfortunately got on shore, was exposed to the fire of
the enemy; as the only way of saving her, a party was sent under Captain
Lister to capture the guns directly pointing at her.  After some severe
fighting, and the loss of several men, they forced their way into the
stockade and drove out the enemy, when all the guns were spiked.  During
this operation one of the life-boats was captured by the blacks, and in
an attempt to retake her with several other boats, another midshipman,
Mr Fletcher, was killed.  Commander Hillyar and several other officers
and men were severely wounded, as was Lieutenant Corbet, in endeavouring
to cut the chain-cable of the _Victoria_, Mr Beecroft's boat, under a
hot fire from the blacks.  The life-boat was after all left on shore,
when some forty blacks getting into her to carry her off, Mr Balfour
threw a rocket from the first cutter, which, entering her magazine, blew
it up.  In the evening the _Teaser_, after great exertions, was got off.
The next morning the attack was renewed, when at length the rockets
from the squadron, admirably thrown, set the town on fire, and, the
conflagration extending, the magazine was blown up, the whole place
being shortly in a general blaze.  A welcome reinforcement of the boats
of the _Volcano_ and _Water-witch_, under Commanders Coote and Gardner,
arriving, after an interval of Sunday, preparations were made for
another still more formidable attack on the place, when it was found
that Kosako had abandoned it, and Akitoye, who with his people had
absconded when affairs appeared unfavourable to his cause, was brought
back and installed as king.  Since then Lagos has become a possession of
the British Empire.

A small squadron is still kept on the west coast, and but a very limited
number of slaves are shipped from any part of it.

British ships have also been employed in the West Indies and along the
eastern coast of South America in capturing slavers carrying blacks
either to Cuba or to the Brazils.  The Cuban slavers, large well-armed
vessels, manned by ruffians of all nations, were frequently guilty of
acts of piracy, and often fought desperately before they yielded.  As
the Brazilian laws now prohibit the importation of slaves, the
steam-cruisers on the station have completely put a stop to the traffic.


The slave-trade is, however, still carried on to a lamentable extent on
the east coast of Africa, to supply the Arabian and Persian markets, and
has been the chief cause of all the depopulating wars which have taken
place on that side of Africa, reducing whole districts inhabited by an
industrious people into howling deserts.  A squadron, consisting
entirely of steamers, has now for some years been stationed on that
coast for its suppression.

Though not sanctioned by the Portuguese government, their officials in
their possessions at the mouth of the Zambesi and other places along the
coast have taken an active part in the trade, as have also the French,
who, though they do not call their captives slaves, equally encourage
the slave-dealers and internal warfare, by purchasing the blacks taken
in battle and carrying them off under the name of apprentices to their
possessions in the Southern ocean.  The service on this coast, though
less unhealthy, provided the crews do not sleep on shore, is often
severe in the extreme, the boats being sent away for considerable
periods to watch for slaving-dhows as they sail along the coast.  These
dhows are large, swift-sailing craft, commanded and manned by Arabs,
savage fellows, who frequently fight desperately when attacked by the
boats.  With a strong breeze they often manage to elude even steamers.
When hard-pressed, with a full cargo of slaves on board, they will run
their vessels through the surf on shore in the hopes of carrying off
some of their unfortunate captives who may escape from the wreck, being
very indifferent about those who may be drowned.  The Arabs themselves
generally manage to get on shore, though sometimes the whole of their
black cargo is sacrificed.

From the following account by an eye-witness some of the lesser horrors
of the slave-trade on the east coast may be conceived.  It exhibits,
also, the spirit in which our gallant officers and seamen carry on the
duty imposed on them.

Her Majesty's steamer _Vulture_, Commander Cay, was, in 1874, cruising
off Madagascar, when, it being almost calm, a dhow was seen standing for
the port of Majunga.  Although she had every appearance of an honest
trader, a boat was sent to board her, carrying one of the officers and
an interpreter, with directions to hail the _Vulture_ should any slaves
be found.  All was suspense till the cry came from the dhow of "She's a
slaver, sir!"  Three hearty cheers were given by the _Vulture's_ crew.
"How many has she on board?" asked the captain.  "Two hundred, sir," was
the answer.  A hawser was soon passed on board the slaver, and she was
hauled alongside.  Then began the sickening task of transferring the
poor captives from the dhow to the ship.  The British seamen behaved
nobly; even the regular grumblers forgot their complaints and came
forward to assist in transporting the weak and helpless creatures from
their prison.  So cramped and emaciated were they that many had to be
carried in the arms of the men.  Tenderly and carefully did these
strong, rough fellows bear their helpless burdens, notwithstanding the
filth which had accumulated on them during their long imprisonment in
the pestilential hold.  Now and then a baby appeared, and was eagerly
lifted on board by the men.  There were seven, and as the little ones
were borne along they opened their eyes with wonderment.  One baby had
been born on board the dhow, and another had lost its mother during the
fatal voyage.  Those who had suffered most were children whose ages
ranged from three to seven years.  They had been evidently unable to
hold their own against the stronger ones in the scramble for food which
had taken place at feeding time; the stronger thrived, while the weaker
starved.  Of the hapless cargo thirty were at death's door, and thirty
others little more than skeletons.  Many of the unhappy beings had
scarcely tasted food during their imprisonment in the dhow.  In they
poured, a living stream, until the ship's decks were covered with a
black mass of human beings of all ages, including women so old that it
was difficult to understand what object those dealers in human flesh
could have had in shipping such worthless articles for the slave-market.
At last the stream stopped.  "They're all out of the dhow, sir,"
exclaimed the seamen who remained on board the vessel.  "Have another
look and make quite sure," answered the commander.  Well it was that
they did so, for in a dark corner of the hold, buried all but the head
in the sand which the dhow carried for ballast, lay a poor old woman.
She was dug out and borne on board.

In the meantime the Arabs came on board the _Vulture_, but these, having
suffered no privations, were able to walk, and as they came over the
side the ship's corporal and corporal of marines stripped them to search
for arms or money.  Nothing being found, they had their clothes
returned, and were marched on to the poop and placed under a sentry's
charge to wait till they could be turned over to the tender mercies of
the Sultan of Zanzibar--a fate they dread very much.  There were two
women on board who seemed past hope of recovery; the one who was dug out
of the sand, and another with an infant at her back, in which way these
people carry their children.  The greater portion were suffering
dreadfully.  Forty-one men, 59 women, and 137 children were taken out of
the dhow from between her decks, where they had been packed, unable to
move during the whole voyage.  The young and good-looking women, who
were the most profitable portion of the cargo, appeared to have been
well fed, while the men and boys had been starved.  The first care was
to remove the filth with which they were covered.  Those able to bear it
were passed under the steam hose, the few rags they had on being taken
away as they entered the stream, and as they passed out dry coverings
were wrapped round them, contributed by the officers and seamen, such as
shirts, towels, sheets, flannels, etcetera.  The weaker ones were washed
in warm water with soap.  Nothing could exceed the gentleness with which
the hardy tars handled these poor creatures.  By the time they had all
been washed the food was ready, and they were made to sit down in
circles of from twelve to twenty.  Large bowls of boiled rice and beans
were placed in the centre of each group; this was the signal for the
most dreadful din; each fearing his or her neighbour would get a larger
share, crammed the food into their mouths, fighting, squalling, crying,
and shouting being carried on all the time until the dishes were empty.
It showed what must have been the state of things in the dhow, where
there was no room to portion them off, neither would the lazy Arab
disturb himself to see justice done to each.  The sick were cared for by
the doctor and his attentive sick-bay man, assisted by all the officers.
Preserved milk, port wine, brandy and water, and preserved fowl were
pressed upon these suffering ones, who were almost too far gone to care
for anything, except to be allowed to die in peace.  The difficulty was
to berth them; it was impossible to let them go below, their filthy
habits making it necessary that they should remain on the upper-deck,
where plenty of water could be used for washing down.  They were
accordingly made to lie close to each other, when sails were covered
over them and screens were hung round, while the awning was stretched
over the top of all.  Sleep was out of the question, even for the weary
seamen; the groans and cries were most heartrending.  The doctor and his
assistant were up all night attending to the poor captives.  At Majunga
calico was purchased to clothe them.  In the morning they went through
the same cleansing process as the night before, when the warm sun, and
decks washed down, made things look more cheerful.  The dhow having been
burnt, the _Vulture_ stood away for the Seychelles.  Cold nights told
upon the exhausted frames of the poor captives, fifteen of whom passed
away in spite of every care before the ship had completed half her
voyage to the Seychelles.  Happily the weather remained remarkably fine.
Altogether seventeen deaths occurred among the slaves during the twelve
days they were on board before the ship reached her destination.  Six of
these were children.  The two women most despaired of were landed in a
much improved state.

Frequently the slaving-dhows captured are in a far more horrible state
than in the instance above given.  The Arabs have been known to murder
and throw into the sea every slave on board, in the hopes of preserving
their vessel when they have seen no chance of escape.  Very often half
the slaves die on the voyage between the coast of Africa and the Persian
Gulf.  Probably, for every slave captured ten human lives have been
lost, either in the attack on their native villages or on the journey to
the coast, or by the attempts made to land them through the surf when
chased by men-of-war, or by starvation and sickness on board.  Still, as
long as the Arabs have any hopes of making the voyage profitable, they
will pursue the traffic, and the only way to put a stop to the horrible
system is by making the chances of capture so great that they will be
compelled to abandon it in despair.  This can most effectually be done
by keeping a large squadron of fast steamers, well supplied with boats,
under zealous and active officers, with orders to board and thoroughly
examine every dhow they can fall in with, and not to allow one to pass
which has the slightest indication of being destined for the

British ships of war, mostly steamers, now traverse the whole of the
Pacific, one of the chief services in which they are engaged being the
prevention of the kidnapping system which has been carried on to a great
extent to supply the Fiji Islands and Queensland with labourers.
Nothing could be more abominable than the system which has been pursued.
Small-armed vessels have been fitted out, and have, by fraud or
violence, got the natives of different islands to come on board, when,
shutting them down under hatches, they have carried them off and
disposed of them, though nominally as free labourers, yet in reality as
slaves.  By the efforts of the naval officers engaged in the service,
the practice has nearly, if not entirely, been suppressed.

These satisfactory results have not been produced without the sacrifice
of the lives of many gallant officers and seamen, the destruction of the
health of many more, and by a large expenditure of money.  The question
to be asked is, "Will England be content, when contemplating all that
she has done, that slavery and the accursed slave-trade shall exist in
any part of the world where she by means of her navy has the power to
put it down?"  We are confident that from every part of the British
dominions the answer will be, "No! at every cost we will continue the
noble work we have commenced, and not rest while a single nation dares
to assert her right to enslave our fellow-men."

We hold it as one of the most glorious privileges which England
possesses that a slave once setting foot on British soil or reaching the
deck of a British man-of-war is a slave no longer, and must not be
delivered up to the man who calls himself his owner while an English
soldier or sailor remains alive to defend him, or a plank of the ship in
which he has sought refuge still floats above the surface.  More, we
would say that should the fugitive slave place his hand on the gunwale
of the smallest boat above which the flag of England flies, protection
should be afforded him, even though his pursuers were at his heels.  Let
other nations know that England denies that one man can justly enslave
his fellow--acknowledges not the right of ownership in slaves, but is
resolved to strike off the fetters from the captive wherever he can be
reached, whether on shore or afloat.  But her task is only yet partly
accomplished--she has still a great and glorious work before her, and to
enable the officers of our ships to perform their duty as they would
wish to do it, they must be hampered by no vexatious restrictions, or be
allowed to feel that they are liable to heavy fines or censure should
they overstep the strict line of their orders.  Let them rather be
assured that the nation fully understands the difficulties with which
they have to contend, and will afford them support should they err in
exhibiting their zeal in the repression of the evil traffic.  The west
coast still requires watching; each harbour on the east coast from which
slaves are shipped must be blockaded, till every Arab dhow manned by a
slave-trading crew is captured and destroyed.  Our fleet of gunboats
could not be more usefully employed than in such an undertaking, and in
a few years, or months even, under active officers, they would render
slave-trading too precarious a pursuit to be followed.


To assist in the suppression of the slave-trade on the west coast of
Africa, an expedition was organised in 1841, and placed under Captain
Henry D. Trotter, commanding H.M. steam-vessel _Albert_, Lieutenants
Fishbourne and Stenhouse.  She was accompanied by H.H. steam-vessel
_Wilberforce_, Commander William Allen, with Lieutenants James Strange
and H. Harston, and H.M. steam-vessel _Soudan_, Commander Bird Allen.
These vessels were built for the purpose by Mr Laird, of Liverpool.
The two first were 139 feet 4 inches in length on deck, 27 feet breadth
of beam, 11 feet depth of hold, 6 feet draft of water, and 457 tons
measurement, and each was armed with one long brass 12-pounder, two
brass 12-pounder howitzers, and 4 brass 1-pounder swivels, besides small
arms.  They had lofty masts, and were square-rigged forward and schooner
aft; but though excellent sea-boats when hauled on a wind, from being
flat-bottomed, they made much leeway.  The _Soudan_ was smaller, and
drew only 4 feet 6 six inches.  They were fitted with ventilating
machines, and every means that science could devise was employed for the
preservation of the health of the crews.  On reaching the mouth of the
Niger, a party of Kroomen were taken on board.  After proceeding some
way up the Niger against a strong current, they reached a spot fixed on
for establishing a model farm, when the stores for the purpose were
landed.  Unhappily, the paddle-box boat of the _Wilberforce_ got adrift
and sank in the centre of the river, whence she could not be recovered.
Soon afterwards sickness attacked the crews of all the ships, and so
rapid was the progress of the fever that the little _Soudan_ had only
six persons able to move about.  All more or less suffered; nothing but
muttering, delirium, or suppressed groans were heard on board the
vessels.  Nearly every person, even those unattacked, complained of the
enervating effects of the climate.  On the 18th of September the number
of the sick had increased to sixty, and many had died.  Captain Trotter
now decided to send back the _Soudan_ to the sea with the sick on board,
under the command of Lieutenant Fishbourne.  The medical officer being
of opinion, however, that by ascending higher up the river a more
healthy climate would be reached, resolved to proceed in that direction
in the _Albert_, while the _Wilberforce_ also returned to the coast.
There appeared every prospect of the expedition proving a blessing to
the long-benighted inhabitants on either bank of the mighty stream--but
Providence ordered it otherwise.  In spite of the heroic courage
displayed by all the naval officers employed, Captain Trotter was at
last compelled to order the ship's head to be put down the stream, and
on his arrival at the coast, as the only chance of saving his fife, the
medical officers ordered his return to England.

Notwithstanding the fearful loss of life which had already been
incurred, Commander William Allen, now senior officer of the expedition,
hearing that Mr Carr, the superintendent of the model farm, had been
murdered, and that the people were in danger of an attack from the
surrounding natives, resolved at once again to ascend the river.  He was
on the point of starting, when H.M. steamer _Kite_ arrived with
despatches stopping all further explorations.  He was, however, directed
to send one of the steamers with a black crew, and only the number of
white people and officers necessary to navigate her, to bring away the
people from the model farm.  Lieutenant Webb at once volunteered, and
succeeded in carrying out his instructions, with the loss, unhappily, of
Mr Webb, clerk in charge, and Mr Waddmgton, boatswain, a fine specimen
of the British seaman, all the rest of the whites suffering also from
fever.  Such was the unhappy termination of an expedition undertaken
with the most noble and philanthropic objects in view, and which, had it
not been for the deadly climate, must, from the determination and zeal
of all those engaged, have been fully successful.



Rarely has England been called on to interfere in any of the quarrels
which have been so frequent among the states of South America.  However,
in 1842, General Oribe, president of the Banda Oriental, having been
expelled from Monte Video, induced General Rosas, dictator of Buenos
Ayres, to support his cause.  Monte Video was therefore besieged both by
sea and land by the Buenos Ayrean squadron and army; but the siege was
raised chiefly by the efforts of the foreigners residing in the country,
among whom was Garabaldi, who then first made himself known, at the head
of a regiment of 500 Italians, whom he had raised from among the crews
of the coasting vessels in the river.  He and his followers appeared in
the red shirts which have since become so famous.  The English and
French ministers residing in the Banda Oriental having vainly
endeavoured to induce Rosas to keep the peace, their respective
governments sent out a squadron under the commands of Admirals
Inglefield and Laine.  The fleet of Buenos Ayres was captured, and the
invaders were driven out of Colonia, a town of which they had taken
possession.  Though thus defeated, Rosas still held out on the banks of
the Parana, and had strongly fortified a place called Obligado, rather
more than a hundred miles from its mouth, having erected batteries of
great strength, and thrown a barrier consisting of a number of empty
vessels secured together by iron cables across the whole width of the
stream, guarded by an armed schooner and some gunboats.  The admirals
accordingly sent a detachment of their squadrons to attack the fortress,
and then to proceed up the Parana to release a large fleet of
merchant-vessels which had been detained some hundred miles from its
mouth.  The British squadron consisted of the steam-frigate _Gorgon_,
Captain Charles Hotham, who had under him the _Firebrand_ steam-frigate,
Captain J. Hope, the _Philomel_ surveying brig, Commander B.J. Sulivan,
and the _Comus, Dolphin_, and _Fanny_, the latter commanded by
Lieutenant A.C. Key.  The French force was under Captain Terehouart,
commanding the _Saint Martin_, of 10 guns, who had with him the _Fulton_
steamer and three other vessels.  After having been detained for some
time by bad weather, the squadron arrived opposite the fortress, on
which the vessels gallantly opened their fire.  It was returned by a
tremendous shower of shot, shell, grape, and rockets, by which a number
of the English and French were killed.  The Spaniards, letting loose
their fire-vessels, endeavoured to destroy the ships, but they were
towed clear by the boats, while Captain Hope, with a party of men
trained for the purpose, under a tremendous fire from the shore, cut
through the chains, and opened a way for the passage of the vessels up
the stream.  The marines and blue-jackets were then landed, when they
attacking the batteries, the enemy took to flight, pursued by Lieutenant
Key, at the head of a light company of seamen, who carried a wood into
which they had thrown themselves.  In a few minutes the remainder of the
dictator's vessels were pursued up the streams in which they had sought
refuge, and were destroyed.  Commander Sulivan, of the _Philomel_, who
had carefully surveyed the river, now undertook to pilot the squadron up
to Santa Fe, the appointed rendezvous of the merchantmen.  On their
passage most of the vessels were attacked by batteries thrown up on the
bank, and, unhappily, several officers and men were killed.  While the
squadron and their convoy were remaining at Santa Fe, Rosas had thrown
up a line of heavy batteries on the summit of some high cliffs, at a
place called San Lorenzo.  It was clear that the fleet would be exposed
to considerable danger while passing these batteries.  Lieutenant
Mackinnon, of the _Alecto_, having observed that opposite the batteries
was a narrow island covered with reeds, grass, and small trees, though
otherwise completely commanded by the batteries, proposed landing during
the night preceding the day the squadron was to descend, with a number
of Congreve rockets, which he suggested should be fired into the fort so
as to distract the defenders, while the ships of war and
merchant-vessels passed under it.  His proposal was adopted.
Fortunately, a bank was found parallel with the stream, which was of
sufficient height to conceal the rocket party.  Having made their way
across the island to it during the hours of darkness, the rocket-stands
were planted, and all was ready for the passage of the fleet.  As
Lieutenant Mackinnon was watching the battery from his place of
concealment, he observed a sentry suddenly stop, one of the men having
incautiously exposed himself, and eye the spot narrowly.  "Hold fast,"
he whispered to the man; "don't move, as you value your life."  The man
obeyed, and the sentry moved on.  At length, the wind being fair, the
signal that the fleet were approaching was heard, the _Gorgon, Fulton_,
and _Alecto_ leading.  As they approached, Lieutenant Mackinnon, jumping
on the embankment and waving his cap, while the British flag was hoisted
under the very nose of the enemy, sang out, "Pepper, lads! pepper, lads!
pepper, pepper, pepper!" and pepper away the men did with a vengeance.
In one minute forty rockets, admirably directed, were poured into the
opposite battery, compelling the dismayed enemy to desert their guns.
Terrific must have been the slaughter among them.  The steamers meantime
taking up their position under the batteries, the fleet of merchantmen
passed quickly down under the showers of rockets which were fired
without cessation.  The sternmost ships of the squadron being out of
range, the rocket party prepared to retreat, while the enemy, misled by
the flagstaff, which was erected at some distance from their place of
concealment, fired away at that.  A better-conducted or more successful
exploit was never performed.  The rocket party got back to their boat
without the loss of a single man, and, pulling rapidly down the stream,
rejoined their ship.  The British and French squadron, on their return
to Monte Video, defeated an attack made on the city by some of the
allies of Rosas, a party of marines and seamen being landed to assist in
placing it in a better position for defence.


In 1848 Captain Granville G. Loch led a boat expedition up the Saint
Juan de Nicaragua, which was as spiritedly carried out as any in the
times of the previous war.  It consisted of the boats of his own ship
the _Alarm_ and the _Vixen_, Commander Rider; and its object was to
punish a certain Colonel Sales of the Nicaraguan army, who, after
carrying off two British subjects and committing various outrages, had
fortified himself in the town of Serapaqui, situated about thirty miles
up the river.  The current runs at the rate of five knots an hour, and
the fort was situated at the head of a long reach, its defences
consisting of six angular stockaded entrenchments eight feet in height,
of considerable thickness, one side of each looking down the reach and
the other across the river, completely commanding the only
landing-place.  Notwithstanding the strength of the current, Captain
Loch commenced the ascent with twelve boats, carrying 260 officers and
men, accompanied by the consul in his own boat.  Passing over numerous
downfalls and rapids, by immense exertions the party, at the end of
seventy-two hours, got almost in sight of the fort.  Unhappily, the
consul and a friend accompanying him fell overboard during the night,
and both were drowned.  The next morning on approaching the fort the
boats were received by a tremendous fire from it and from both banks of
the river, which riddled them with shot, broke nearly half the oars,
killed two men, and severely wounded Mr Turner, a midshipman, and
several others.  Notwithstanding this, pulling on against the strong
current for an hour and forty minutes, they got past the batteries, and
then, dropping down to the landing-place, sprang on shore, and the
crews, uttering a loud cheer, stormed the stockades.  The Nicaraguans
withstood them for some time, but at length giving way fled into the
forest, leaving twenty dead behind them, while twice that number were
wounded, and two officers and seven men captured.  The boats returned
down the river, and arrived safely on board the ships.


It is impossible to mention one-tenth part of the services performed by
our men-of-war in all parts of the world of late years in capturing
slavers, destroying pirates, and punishing outrages committed on British
subjects.  In 1848 an English merchant-vessel, the _Three Sisters_, was
taken possession of by the notorious Riff pirates, and towed close in to
the shore on the coast of the Mediterranean, after her master and the
crew had fortunately escaped.  Commander McCleverty, of the
_Polyphemus_, was at once despatched to retake the brig.  On approaching
the shore he found a force of 500 men drawn up to defend their prize.
The pirates on this daringly opened a hot fire of musketry upon the
steamer, which she returned with doses of grape and canister, and
quickly dispersed them.  The boats, under the command of Lieutenant
Allen Gardner, were then sent to bring off the brig, but as they got up
to her a gun opened fire on them, and the pirates returning commenced
blazing away from behind the rocks at them and the ship, by which
Lieutenant Wasey and seven men were wounded.  Lieutenant Gardner,
notwithstanding, got hold of the brig, and towed her to the
_Polyphemus_, which steamed off with her to sea.

The punishment inflicted on the Riff pirates was soon forgotten, and
they continued their depredations on British commerce.  In 1851 they
captured the brigantine _Violet_ and the schooner _Amelia_, killing the
masters and several men among their crews, while the survivors were
carried into slavery.  On information of the outrage being received at
Gibraltar the _Janus_, Captain Powell, started immediately to punish the
pirates.  Both vessels were found total wrecks on shore.  The _Janus_
could therefore only retaliate by firing on the piratical boats, which
she did, totally destroying the whole of those seen.  She afterwards
came in sight of another large pirate fleet.  The boats were sent on
shore to destroy them, but the Riff people collecting in overwhelming
numbers, attacked them so furiously that they were compelled to return
to the ship, Captain Powell himself and seven men being wounded.  The
_Violet's_ crew were, however, liberated.


The seizure of the _Arrow_, sailing under British colours, by the
Chinese, and their haughty refusal to make any reparation, compelled the
British minister at Canton to apply to Sir Michael Seymour,
commander-in-chief on the China station, to try the efficacy of his guns
in inducing the commissioner, Yeh, to yield to his demands.  The
admiral's flag was flying on board the _Calcutta_, 84; he had under him
the _Winchester_, of 50 guns, the _Sybil_ and _Pique_, of 40, and the
_Hornet_ and _Encounter_, screw-steamers, the first of 17 and the other
of 15 guns, and three paddle-wheel steamers and three sloops of war.  He
was in a short time reinforced by the _Sanspareil_, of 70 guns, the
_Nankin_, of 50, the _Amethyst_, of 26, several screw-steamers, and a
considerable number of gunboats, well suited for navigating the Chinese
rivers.  The English admiral first sailed up to Canton, and took
possession of all its outer defences, one of which, the Macao fort,
situated in the middle of the river, he garrisoned with a force of
marines.  The Barrier Forts, armed with 150 guns, were stormed and
captured, the guns spiked, and the buildings destroyed.  These
proceedings, however, had no effect on Yeh, and he still held out.
Accordingly, bringing up other vessels, the admiral ordered an attack on
Canton itself.  The ships soon made a breach in the walls, when a body
of seamen and marines under Captains Elliott and Stuart and Commanders
Holland and Bate stormed the place, and in a short time the gallant Bate
having scaled the walls at the head of one detachment, waved the British
ensign on the top of the breach; the gate of the city was blown open,
and in less than an hour Canton was in possession of the British.  The
blue-jackets and marines abstained from all acts of plunder, and treated
the inhabitants so well that they came fearlessly alongside the vessels,
bringing fresh provisions of all kinds.  The admiral, not considering it
advisable to retain the city, withdrew his men, leaving only a force
sufficient for the protection of the factory.  This place the Chinese
attempted to burn, and made every effort to destroy the fleet with
fire-rafts and enormous explosive machines, some of which, it is said,
contained 3000 pounds of gunpowder.  They were invariably, however,
towed clear of the ships.  Yeh then one night sent a fleet of 23
war-junks in the hopes of surprising the fleet.  Getting news of the
intended attack, the admiral despatched the _Barracouta_ with a fleet of
boats under Captain Wilson of the _Winchester_, the admiral himself
afterwards joining, and in half-an-hour the whole of the fleet was
destroyed, with the exception of the admiral's vessel, carrying 60 guns,
which was brought off.

Still Yeh refused to yield, and Sir Michael therefore attacked the Bogue
Forts, which now mounted upwards of 200 guns, and the whole were
captured with trifling loss the mandarins having run away and deserted
their men, who began in their terror to throw themselves into the sea,
till they were persuaded by Captain Hall that they would not be injured.

Meantime, the Chinese were beginning to repair the Barrier Forts, which,
as they commanded the river, the admiral resolved to destroy.  Two of
them, the French Folly and Dutch Folly, were successively attacked.
Captains Wilson and Cochrane landing at the head of 850 seamen and
marines, stormed the latter, and blew up it and the 30 guns with which
it was armed.  The Dutch Folly was garrisoned by 140 seamen, under the
command of Commodore Elliott, while, to protect the squadron, two strong
booms were thrown across the river, one above and the other below it.
This terminated the year 1856.

Early in the following year the Chinese having collected a fleet of 90
large junks and 30 row-boats, advanced from three different quarters,
hoping to overwhelm the British squadron; but the ships, opening their
fire, soon put them to flight, when they were followed by the boats and
several more destroyed.  For several months no active operations took
place.  Unhappily, the Honourable Captain Keppel's ship, the _Raleigh_,
on her way to Hong-Kong, struck on a rock and was totally wrecked.  Sir
Michael, however, gave him command of the _Alligator_, and placed under
him the _Bittern_ sloop and the hired steamers, _Hong-Kong_ and _Sir
Charles Forbes_, attached to the _Raleigh_ as tenders.  As soon as
active operations were commenced, a squadron of gunboats towing about 20
ship's boats, most of them armed with a heavy gun, was despatched up the
Escape Creek in search of a large fleet of Chinese war-junks.  As soon
as the Chinese saw them, they took to flight up a shallow creek, where
the gunboats pursuing them, grounded; but the officers jumping into the
boats, continued the pursuit, when Commander Forsyth captured ten, and
Mr Brown, mate of the _Hornet_, with a single boat's crew, attacked and
carried three large ones in succession.  Altogether, ten were taken and
seventeen destroyed.

Several smaller expeditions were made with the like success.  Still, the
main fleet of the Chinese remaining in safety in Fatshan, the admiral
resolved to lead against it an expedition he had organised of 11
gunboats and between 50 and 60 boats of the fleet, carrying 2000 men.
Each division of boats was commanded by the captains of the ships to
which they belonged.  The fleet they were to attack consisted of 80 of
the largest junks, manned by 6000 of the best Chinese sailors and
warriors.  It was drawn up under heavy batteries on either bank; across
the stream 50 junks were found moored side by side, the large guns in
their bows pointed down it.  The admiral waited till dead low water, the
most favourable time for making his attack, and he hoped that the junks
would be unable to move till he got up to them, while should any of his
own gunboats take the ground, they would soon again be afloat with the
rising tide.  The Chinese had further strengthened their position by
sinking junks laden with stone, against one of which the _Coromandel_,
carrying the admiral's flag, grounded.  He, on this, landing with a
party of blue-jackets and marines, stormed one of the batteries, the
garrison of which soon took to flight.  Meantime, the _Haughty_, the
leading gunboat, attacked the largest of the junks; her crew jumping
overboard, the example was followed by those of the rest of the fleet,
when the whole squadron was immediately set on fire.  Commodore Keppel
attacked and carried a second battery, and then sent his division of
boats against another squadron of junks.  These having been destroyed,
he pushed on three miles till he saw before him the main body of the
largest junks moored compactly across the stream with their heavy
bow-guns pointing at him.  These opened so tremendous a fire that in a
few moments every boat was hit.  The commodore's coxswain was killed,
and scarcely a man in the boat escaped.  While Lieutenant Prince Victor
of Hohenlohe was engaged in attending to a wounded man, a shot whizzed
between him and the commodore, and had he not been bending down, he
would have been killed.  So full of water was the boat that Keppel had
to jump on the after-thwart to keep his legs out of it, when another
round-shot passed through both sides of the boat scarcely an inch below
him.  At length, as the boat was on the point of sinking, he and his
companions, taking the wounded men, got into one of the _Calcutta's_
boats.  The rest of the flotilla had suffered in the same way, and
numerous officers and men had been killed or wounded.  The commodore,
seeing that there was little hope of success at that moment, ordered the
boats to retire, and the deck of the _Hong-Kong_ was soon covered with
the wounded men brought on board.  The fire of the Chinese still
reaching her, several more men were killed on board.  The admiral,
however, hearing the firing, had sent up reinforcements, and Commodore
Keppel, calling to the rest of the boats to follow, again dashed forward
in the _Raleigh's_ cutter, in a style which so daunted the Chinese that,
cutting their cables, they pulled away up the stream.  The British
seamen cheered and, opening fire from their big guns, were soon up to
the sternmost junks.  These were quickly captured, their crews in many
instances leaping overboard.  The rest were pursued for seven miles,
till the British boats found themselves almost in the middle of the
large city of Fatshan.  Here the commodore landing put a considerable
body of troops to flight, and would have captured and held the town had
not the admiral considered the enterprise useless.  He contented
himself, therefore, with towing away five large junks, the only portion
of the Chinese fleet which had escaped destruction.  This success was
purchased at the cost of 84 men killed and wounded.  Chuenpee, further
down the river, was next captured without difficulty, for though
considerably strengthened, so disheartened were the Chinese that they
did not attempt to defend it.

Considerable reinforcements were now sent out from England, including
the _Shannon_, Captain W. Peel, the _Pearl, Sanspareil_, and numerous
gunboats; but news of the Sepoy mutiny having reached the admiral, he
immediately despatched them to Calcutta with a force of Royal Artillery
and other troops.  During the eventful struggle which ensued, the crews
of the _Shannon_ and _Pearl_, formed into naval brigades, did good
service.  In November, 1857, the Indian mutiny being nearly quelled,
operations in China were recommenced.  Yeh proved as obstinate as ever,
and to bring him to reason Canton was again attacked.  Besides 800
regular troops, the British force consisted of the marines and 1550
blue-jackets, well trained to act on shore.  They were formed into three
divisions under Captains Stuart, Key, and McClure, the command of the
whole being confided to Commodore Elliott.  The French, who had now
joined the English, had also a naval brigade of less size.  The smaller
vessels and gunboats having arrived before Canton, began and kept up a
ceaseless fire on the walls as well as on the heights both inside and
outside the city, replied to by the cannon, jingalls, and rockets of the
Chinese.  On the morning of the 29th the naval brigade stormed and
captured a large temple close to the walls, and at daylight the
artillery, which had been landed, opened fire and soon effected a
breach.  The signal was now given for the scaling parties to advance,
and rushing forward with ladders in hand they were quickly up to the
walls.  The French had the honour of getting over first, not having
waited for the signal.  The British seamen in different directions were
not long after them, Commander Fellowes, of the _Cruiser_, being the
first to mount.  The Chinese fought bravely, and many of the British
seamen fell.  Among them was Captain Bate, of the _Actaeon_, who was
killed while about to mount a scaling ladder.  Captain Key with his
brigade seizing a battery turned its guns upon the foe; and division
after division having got over, swept the Chinese before them, till by
nine o'clock the city was won.  So large was the city that it took some
days before it could be thoroughly occupied.  Among those captured were
Yeh himself and several other mandarins of rank.  As a punishment for
his conduct he was sent as a prisoner to Calcutta.  The whole loss of
the allies was under 130 men killed and wounded, the larger portion
belonging to the naval brigade.  After this the fleet proceeded to the
Peiho, at the mouth of which stands the town of Taku, to which the
emperor had despatched a new commissioner named Tau, to negotiate with
Lord Elgin.  As, however, Tau behaved exactly as Yeh had done, the
English and French admirals sent a squadron to capture the forts which
guard the entrance to the river.  They had been of late greatly
strengthened, and from the ditches and wide extent of mud spread before
them, were truly formidable.  The force consisted of the _Cormorant_,
Commander Saumarez, the _Nimrod, Slaney_, several French vessels, and a
number of the smaller British gunboats, _Opossum, Bustard, Staunch_.
The two admirals going up on board the _Slaney_.  The _Cormorant_
leading, broke through a boom of great strength, passed across the
river, and various vessels quickly taking up their position, opened
their fire on the forts, which, though defended for some time, at length
yielded, their garrisons taking to flight.  A squadron of gunboats, with
the English and French admirals on board, then made their way up to
Tientsin, a large city midway between Pekin and the sea.  The emperor,
now fearing that his capital itself would be attacked, came to terms.
The fleet, however, remained ready to compel him to keep to them, should
he attempt to evade fulfilling his engagements.  In the meantime a small
squadron, consisting of the _Retribution_, Captain Barker, the
_Furious_, Captain S. Osborn, the _Cruiser_, Commander Bythesea, the
gunboat _Lee_, Lieutenant Jones, and surveying-vessel _Dove_, Commander
Ward, made a voyage up the Yang'tse Kiang, 600 miles above Nankin, to a
city of importance called Hang-keo.  From the shallowness of the water
the larger vessels frequently grounded, and on passing Nankin, then in
possession of a formidable army of rebels, which attacked them, they had
to fight their onward way.  At length the _Retribution_ could proceed no
farther, but Osborn leading the rest reached Hang-keo in safety.  On
their way back the larger vessels again grounded, but being released by
a flood, the whole succeeded in returning to Shanghai.

Sir Michael Seymour returning home, was succeeded by Admiral J. Hope,
with his flag on board the _Chesapeake_.  Besides six larger vessels, he
had under his command a squadron of nine gunboats.  Each boat was armed
with two long guns and two howitzers, and before they went into action
the admiral sent on board each from the _Chesapeake_ an additional
32-pounder and an organised crew to work it.  Those who knew the Chinese
best were very sure, as the result proved, that the emperor did not
intend to keep the terms of the treaty.  Admiral Hope arrived off the
Peiho on the 8th of June, and as soon as he attempted to ascend it for
the purpose of proceeding to Pekin to announce the arrival of the
British ambassador, he discovered that the forts had been greatly
strengthened, and that obstructions of all sorts had been placed across
the river.  Strong booms had been carried from side to side, and iron
stakes driven into the bottom at intervals, reaching within two feet of
high-water mark.  The Chinese having neglected to remove the
obstructions, after the admirals had waited several days, Mr Bruce and
the French ambassador having arrived, the admiral sent in to say that
unless his demands were immediately complied with he should force his
way.  A force of blue-jackets and marines 700 strong were told off to
storm the forts, and the admiral, shifting his flag to the _Plover_, led
his squadron of gunboats, accompanied by those of the French, towards
the forts.  During the night Captain Wills with three boats had broken
the first boom with barrels of gunpowder, and pushing on, was examining
the inner one, when the moon rising revealed his position to the
Chinese, who opened so warm a fire on him that he was compelled to
retire.  The plan proposed was to attack the works on the river side
with the gunboats, and the batteries being silenced, to storm with the
landing-party.  The gunboats, as far as they were able, took up the
position allotted to them, but from the shallowness of the water, the
_Starling_ and _Banterer_ got aground.  No sooner did they open fire
than the Chinese began blazing away from a line of heavy guns, which, in
a short time, played havoc among them.  The _Plover_ was almost knocked
to pieces, and her commander killed, 30 of her crew being killed or
wounded, and the admiral himself severely hurt.  He, however, shifted
his flag on board the _Opossum_, whose commander was shortly afterwards
wounded, and her screw becoming fouled, she drifted down the stream.  On
this Admiral Hope went on board the _Cormorant_, and on her deck, lying
in his cot, issued his directions till overcome by loss of blood.
Captain Shadwell then took the command.  The engagement continued with
great fury on both sides, but the _Lee_ and _Haughty_ were both nearly
destroyed.  The tide having sunk several feet, the English guns produced
less effect on the fort than at first.  At the end of four hours,
however, nearly all the Chinese guns on the left bank were silenced,
though those on the right still continued their fire.  It was
determined, therefore, to storm the forts on that side, and late in the
evening the force destined for that purpose was landed, led by Captains
Shadwell and Vansittart and Colonel Lemon, of the marines, and supported
by Commanders Commerell and Heath.  The gallant Captain Tricault led a
body of French, and the boats of an American man-of-war assisted in
landing the men.  Scarcely, however, had they jumped on shore, unable to
obtain the slightest shelter, than the Chinese opened a tremendous fire
on them with jingalls, rifles, and muskets, and every gun that could be
brought to bear.  In a few minutes numbers were hit, Captain Vansittart
was mortally wounded, Captain Shadwell's foot was smashed, and Colonel
Lemon fell, severely hurt.  The command now devolved on Commerell, who
gallantly led forward his men; but two ditches and a wide extent of mud
intervened between them and the fort, and so thickly did the shot rain
down on them that, before they got twenty yards, 300 were killed or
wounded, and they were compelled to retreat--many unfortunate fellows
being suffocated in the mud.  Of the numerous vessels which had run on
shore, all were got off with the exception of the _Cormorant, Plover_,
and _Lee_, which were knocked to pieces to prevent them falling into the
hands of the Chinese.  In this disastrous affair above 80 men had been
killed and 350 wounded, many of whom died from their hurts.

The Chinese were not allowed, however, for any length of time to boast
of their victory.  The Peiho was again entered, the town of Pehtang was
occupied and the Taku Forts again attacked from the sea and land.
Though the army lost a good many men in the operations, not one on board
the gunboats was killed.  The booms across the river were broken
through, the iron stakes drawn, and Admiral Hope pushing on in the
_Coromandel_ with a squadron of gunboats, arrived before Tientsin, which
yielded to the first summons.

After this the duties of the steamers consisted chiefly in conveying the
heavy siege trains of baggage and provisions for the supply of the army
in the neighbourhood of Pekin, when after his army had been thoroughly
defeated, and at the moment that his city was about to be stormed, the
emperor yielded to all the demands of the allies.  The emperor had acted
with great treachery in the negotiations for peace, imprisoning and
torturing the English envoys and escort, so as a lesson to him and his
people, his celebrated Summer Palace was burnt to the ground, thus
showing them that had they thought fit Pekin itself might have been
treated in the same manner.

RUSSIAN WAR--1854-55.

Russia had shown her evident intention of laying violent hands on
Turkey, by destroying with a treachery unworthy a civilised nation a
Turkish squadron at Sinope, and England and France being bound by treaty
to protect the Ottoman Empire, without delay each despatched a fleet
into the Black Sea.  That of England was under the command of Admiral
Dundas, who had his flag on board the _Britannia_, of 120 guns, his
second in command being Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons, whose flag flew
on board the _Agamemnon_, of 91 guns, a name known to fame.  The other
ships were the _Trafalgar_, of 120 guns, the _Queen_, of 116, the
_Albion_, 91, _Rodney_ and _London_, 90, _Vengeance_, 84, _Bellerophon_,
80, _Sanspareil_, 70, _Arethusa_ and _Leander_, 50, _Tribune_ and
_Curacoa_, 31, _Retribution_, steam-frigate, 28, _Diamond_, 26,
_Terrible_ and _Sidon_, steam-frigates, 22, _Highflyer_, steam-sloop,
21, _Furious_ and _Tiger_, 16, the former a steam-frigate, the _Niger_,
13, and nine steam-sloops.  The French fleet consisted of 15 sail of the
line, and 21 frigates and smaller vessels.

From the first Admiral Lyons contemplated an attack on Sebastopol, and
in order to ascertain the strength of its fortifications, Captain
Drummond, of the _Retribution_, before war was actually declared, was
sent there with a despatch for the Russian governor.  He ran in during a
fog, and had brought up before even his presence was discovered.  Having
sent his despatch on shore, he waited for an answer, making good use of
his time, and when it arrived, having exchanged salutes with the
governor, he stood out again with the valuable information he had
obtained.  Peace not having been actually broken, the _Furious_, Captain
Loring, was sent to Odessa to bring off the British consul, or any
British subjects who might wish to leave it.  As the frigate was
receiving them on board, the garrison, notwithstanding the flag of truce
she carried, fired on her.  This treacherous conduct deserved a prompt
punishment.  A fleet accordingly on the 17th of April sailed for that
port, off which they anchored on the 20th.  The line-of-battle ships
could not get close enough to the walls, and a squadron of English and
French steam-frigates under Captain Jones, of the _Sampson_, stood in
and delivered their broadsides.  Having done so, one after another in
succession steamed rapidly round out of gunshot, to return again and
fire as before.  The Russian guns returned the compliment with red-hot
shot, which set the _Vauban_ on fire.  Captain Mends, of the "gallant
_Arethusa_," remembering the fame of her name, though he had only his
sails to depend on, ran in as close as the depth of water would allow,
and opened a heavy fire from his 9-inch shell guns, and repeated his
manoeuvres till recalled by a signal from the flag-ship.  Ultimately
some gunboats with rockets were directed to try their powers; at last
flames burst forth from several parts of the works, and at one o'clock
the magazine in the principal fort exploding cast destruction around.
The batteries having been now silenced, the squadron stood closer in and
destroyed moat of the vessels which had taken shelter behind the mole.
Soon after the fleet retired from before Odessa, the _Tiger_, which had
been stationed off the coast, ran on shore.  While attempts were being
made to get her off the Russians brought down a field battery, from
which they opened so brisk a fire that Captain Gifford, being mortally
wounded, and several of his men hit, he was compelled, in order to save
their lives, to haul down his flag.

Another visit to ascertain the strength of Sebastopol was paid by
Captain Tatham, of the _Fury_.  Disguising her like an Austrian packet,
which he knew was expected in the harbour, he boldly stood in on the
10th of May, running past two brigs of war, and having sufficiently
looked about him steamed as calmly out again, hoisting the British
colours as soon as he had got out of shot.  While still in sight of the
batteries he captured a Russian schooner, and was carrying her off, when
some frigates getting under way, chased him and compelled him to abandon
his prize.  The fleets now proceeded off Sebastopol, sending away some
of their ships in order to induce the Russians to come out and fight
them.  All their efforts proved vain, and Sir Edmund Lyons scoured the
Black Sea till not a Russian vessel of any size remained on its bosom.

Some months thus passed, when the army having been collected at Varna,
Sir Edmund Lyons, to whom the task was intrusted by the
commander-in-chief, embarked them on board the transports destined for
their reception.  Admirably were the arrangements made, both for their
embarkation and landing on the shores of the Crimea.  Indeed, difficult
as were both operations, they were carried out without the loss of a
man, and with that only of one or two horses drowned.  While the army
marched towards the Alma, the fleet proceeded along the shore.  Some of
the steamers standing in, put to flight the few Russian troops their
guns could reach.  For some time it was hoped that the Russian ships
would come out of Sebastopol and give battle to the allied fleets; but
all hopes of their doing so were lost when the Russians, having arranged
some of their finest line-of-battle ships across the harbour, scuttled
them, and their masts were seen slowly descending beneath the surface.
No hopes remaining of a naval engagement, each ship supplied a
contingent of men, who were formed into a naval brigade, under Captain
Stephen Lushington, a body of the French seamen being employed in the
same manner.  None of the brave fellows employed in the siege performed
a greater variety of duties, or behaved with more gallantry, than did
the British blue-jackets on shore.  They fought in the batteries, armed
with some of their own heavy ship's guns dragged up by themselves from
the shore, carried the scaling-ladders in many an assault, assisted to
land the stores, and were for some time the principal labourers in
forming a road between Balaclava and Sebastopol.  Led by the gallant
Captain Peel, they took an active part in the assault on the Redan, on
which occasion they lost 14 killed and 47 wounded.  They were
ever-active in succouring those who had been left on the field of
battle, whether blue-jackets or red-coats, and many who might have
perished owed their lives to their courage and activity.  During the
engagement known as the Little Inkerman, on the 26th of October Mr
Hewett, mate of the _Beagle_, while in command of a Lancaster gun, was
greatly instrumental in the defeat of the Russians.  Having received a
message by a sergeant from an officer, who thought the battery would be
taken in reverse, to spike his gun and retreat, he replying that he only
received orders from his own captain, got his gun round to bear on the
Russians, and blowing away the parapet, poured his fire down on them in
a way which compelled them to abandon their object.

As soon as the troops on shore were ready to open with their batteries,
the combined fleets prepared to perform their parts in attacking the sea
faces of Sebastopol.  By this time Admiral Dundas had given up the
command of the fleet to Sir Edmund Lyons, who, as before, directed all
the operations.  The _Agamemnon_ and _Sanspareil_ were the only
line-of-battle ships fitted with screws, but there were steamers
sufficient to tow all into action, or to assist them out again if
necessary.  The final arrangements were made on the 16th between the
English and French admirals, when it was settled that the French and
Turks should attack the forts on the south side of the harbour, and the
English those on the north.  Early on the morning of the 17th the order
to weigh was given--the fleets having been collected in Kazatch Bay,
some distance to the north of the city.  The French and Turks, who
formed one line, naturally led; the _Britannia_ followed, close to the
_Charlemagne_, the rearmost of the French line.  An inshore squadron had
been formed, consisting of the _Agamemnon, Sanspareil_, and _London_,
which was afterwards joined by the _Albion_ and other ships.  The
_Britannia_, the most southern of the British ships, took up her
position opposite Fort Constantine; next to her in succession were the
_Trafalgar, Vengeance, Rodney_, and _Queen_.  The _Agamemnon_, piloted
by Mr Ball in the little steam-tender _Circassia_, glided on till she
was about 750 yards from Fort Constantine, close to a shoal, which
prevented her nearer approach.  The _London, Sanspareil_, and _Albion_
followed her, but were unable to get quite as near the fort as she was.
The admiral had warned Mr Ball that his little vessel would probably be
sunk, and promised to keep a boat ready to save him and his crew should
she go down; but undaunted by the danger, he stood on amid a perfect
shower of shot and shell, sounding as he went, till the line was cut
from the leadsman's hand by a shot from the batteries; but another
leadsman immediately took his place, and the _Circassia_, without a man
killed, though frequently hulled, steamed out of harm's way.
Immediately the _Agamemnon's_ anchor was dropped, she opened her fire,
as did the other ships in succession.  Fortunately, from being so close
in, the Russian shot mostly passed over her, as the guns had been
trained for a longer range; but the ships to the north of her suffered
considerably.  Happily, one of the first shells she fired reached the
powder-magazine in the fort, which, blowing up with a tremendous
explosion, drove the Russians from their guns, and though they again
returned, it was to find that a large number of them had been
dismounted, while the upper part of their works were crumbling to pieces
from the effects of the fire from the British ships.  From their lower
batteries, however, and from various forts on the heights, so hot was
the Russian fire, that the _Albion_ and _London_, terribly shattered,
were compelled to haul off.  The _Sanspareil_ also brought up so close
to the _Agamemnon_ as to be unable to use her foremost guns, and had to
get under way to take up a better berth, and for a time the _Agamemnon_
stood the brunt of the battle in her part of the line.  The
_Sanspareil_, however, again quickly came to her support, and the
_Albion_, having repaired some of her damages, returned; but as the
_London_ was unable to do so, the admiral signalled to the _Rodney_, the
_Queen, Bellerophon_, and _Arethusa_, to come to his assistance.  A
short time afterwards the _Queen_, set on fire by a shell, was compelled
to retreat, and the _Rodney_ got on shore at the end of the bank; but a
large portion of her crew having joined the naval brigade, she had but
few men on board, and therefore fought only her main-deck guns, and
though in so exposed a position, escaped with comparatively little loss.
For five hours the whole fleet kept up perhaps the most tremendous
cannonade that has ever been fired from British or any other ships, when
night coming on, the _Agamemnon_ made the signal for the fleet to
retire, she herself being the last to leave her station.  Though during
that time the upper portions of some of the Russian batteries had been
knocked away, and a large number of people killed and wounded in them,
the furious cannonade which had been so long kept up produced no result
to compensate the British for a loss sustained of 44 killed and 266
wounded, besides the damages received by many of the ships, two of
which, the _Albion_ and _Arethusa_, had to go to Malta to be repaired.
Though the French ships suffered more than ours, they lost under 200 men
killed and wounded.  The steamers had gallantly performed their part in
towing the ships in and out of action, notwithstanding the showers of
shot and shell directed at them.  Altogether, the admirals came to the
conclusion that it was useless attempting to batter down the stone walls
of the fortifications, or to again expose their ships to such a fire as
they had that day endured.

A portion of the allied fleets still remained before Sebastopol, and
harassed the garrison by sending into the harbour two fast,
strongly-armed steamers night after night, which, always keeping in
motion, fired their shot into the city, and rapidly steamed out again
before the enemy could get their guns to bear on them.  On one of these
occasions the admiral's son, while directing the course of his vessel,
was so severely wounded that he died shortly afterwards.

During the winter months of 1855 no operations were undertaken by the
fleet, but as soon as the finer weather allowed the ships to navigate
the Black Sea, an expedition sailed for Kertch, a town of importance at
the extreme eastern point of the Crimea, containing immense magazines of
corn, with which from thence the beleaguered garrison was supplied.
Just as the expedition was sailing, however, Canrobert, who had supreme
authority over the French naval forces, forbade Admiral Brueys from
proceeding, and Sir Edmund magnanimously gave up the enterprise for a
time at the earnest request of his colleague.  A fortnight afterwards,
however, General Pelissier succeeding Canrobert, authorised the French
admiral to proceed in support of the English.  An overpowering fleet
accordingly sailed towards the entrance of the Sea of Azov.  As soon as
the ships appeared off Kertch, the Russians blew up their fortifications
without firing a shot, and evacuated the place.  The only officer who
had an opportunity of distinguishing himself was Lieutenant McKillop,
commanding the _Snake_, of 4 guns.  Perceiving a Russian steamer in the
offing, he obtained leave to chase her, which he did till she got under
the forts of Yenikale, when both fort and steamer opened their guns on
him.  Undaunted, he returned the salute, throwing his shells upon both
his opponents, and in three-quarters of an hour set the steamer on fire.
He was still blazing away at the fort, when three other steamers were
seen approaching, and they also, as he refused to run, began to attack
him, the guns of each one of them being of heavier calibre than his.  He
continued engaging them till assistance sent by the admiral arrived,
when the whole of the Russian vessels were captured.

While the larger ships proceeded in various directions along the coast,
a squadron consisting of the smaller vessels and gunboats were sent into
the Sea of Azov, under Captain Lyons, of the _Miranda_, to attack the
numerous stores of corn and other provisions accumulated at different
spots along the shores.  On the return of the _Miranda_ to Sebastopol,
Captain Lyons was succeeded by Commander Sherard Osborn in the
_Vesuvius_.  Although the duties imposed on the squadron were not
apparently of a very heroic character, they were attended with a
considerable amount of risk, and were carried out in a most spirited and
gallant manner.  In several places the magazines and stores were
protected by large bodies of the enemy, who fought courageously in their
defence, but were invariably defeated by the determination and activity
of the British seamen.  Taganrog and other places were protected by
heavy batteries, which, however, did not prevent the little squadron
from attacking them and coming off victorious.  For many months the
steam-vessels were thus employed moving about from one place to another.
Wherever they were least expected, the officers landed with parties of
men, and did not hesitate to proceed either up the rivers or some way
inland wherever they gained intelligence that storehouses existed, and
in no instance failed to set them on fire.  Many hazardous and gallant
acts were performed.  In this way the squadron were of the most
essential service to the allies, and by almost depriving the garrison of
Sebastopol of their means of support, were mainly instrumental in the
reduction of the great fortress.  In a short time scarcely a Russian
trading-vessel on those waters had escaped destruction or capture.  The
vessels of the squadron were everywhere, and often, when espied by
troops of Cossack cavalry from the shore, there would be a race between
them and the vessels who should first arrive at the store-houses, which
the latter had destined to destruction, while the steamers' long guns
played on the Cossacks, and generally sent them galloping away inland
out of range of fire, so that when they reached the store-houses they
found them burnt to the ground.  One of the last places attacked was
Gheisk, in the neighbourhood of which, extending for fully four miles
along the shore, were collected in huge stacks quantities of corn and
hay; while close to the town, under the protection of its batteries,
were large piles of timber, cured fish, numerous boats, and naval stores
of all descriptions.  The place was protected by a strong force of
infantry and cavalry.  Notwithstanding, Captain Osborn proceeded to
attack it with the gunboats _Grinder, Boxer, Cracker_, and _Clinker_;
but the shallowness of the water would allow them to get only just
within range of the batteries.  The squadron was, however, supplied with
a number of large boats which could carry heavy guns, and these he
brought close in to the shore in order to cover the landing-parties,
distributing them in four divisions, under Commander Kennedy and
Lieutenants Ross, Day, and Strode, with directions to land at intervals
of a mile from each other, and then driving the Russians before them to
set fire to the stores.  To protect the stores, the Russians had thrown
up light breast-works along the whole of their front, but they were not
such as to arrest British blue-jackets for a moment.  Fortunately, the
wind blew directly on shore, and thus as soon as the boats opened fire
the smoke was driven in the faces of the enemy.  The seamen quickly
landing, notwithstanding the warm fire with which they were received,
drove the Russians before them, and the stacks being at once ignited,
the dense volumes of smoke which arose from them completely concealed
the movements of the British, whose only object being to destroy the
corn and hay, did not follow the enemy.  Success attended every one of
the operations; in a little more than six hours every stack was blazing,
as were the piles of timber, the boats, naval stores, and dried fish,
under the protection of the batteries at Gheisk--the whole work being
accomplished with the loss only of five men wounded.

To prevent the escape of any of the Russian ships on the fall of
Sebastopol, the allied squadron brought up across the harbour, when the
enemy having already sunk the remainder of their line-of-battle ships,
set fire to all their steamers, thus with their own hands destroying the
whole of their fleet.  The English and French fleet then sailed for
Kinburn, standing on the shore of a shallow bay full of shoals.  On
their way they appeared off Odessa, in order to mislead the Russians,
and then proceeded direct for their destination.  The troops, consisting
of 5000 British, and a large number of French, were landed on the 15th,
and some of the gunboats stood in, and began firing to distract the
garrison.  The roughness of the sea, however, prevented the ships from
commencing the grand attack till the 17th.  The smaller steamers and
gunboats then advanced, circling round and delivering their fire in
rapid succession, silencing the Russian guns, killing the men, and
forcing them to take refuge under ground.  About noon the line-of-battle
ships, English and French, entered into action in magnificent order
close to the batteries, while a squadron of steamers, led by Sir Houston
Stuart and the French rear-admiral, approached the forts on the northern
side, and began pouring in their broadsides.  Not for a moment was there
a cessation of the thundering roar of the guns, while the whole fleet
and doomed fortress became shrouded in dense wreaths of smoke, the
gunboats on the other side keeping up their fire with fearful effect.
The fire from the French floating batteries, which had lately been sent
out at the suggestion of Napoleon, was most effective, while their power
of resistance was fully as great as had been expected, the heavy shot by
which they were frequently struck falling harmless from their iron
sides, while the shells shivered against them like glass.  The
bombardment from the larger ships had continued scarcely a
quarter-of-an-hour when a white flag was seen flying from the ramparts
as a token of submission, and as if by magic the firing ceased.  In a
short time afterwards the old Russian general appeared to deliver up his
sword, and he and a large staff of officers, who were permitted to
retain their swords, became prisoners.

The Russians themselves blew up Oczakov, which was to have been
attacked, while Sir Houston Stuart led a squadron up the Boug, and
destroyed a battery on its shore.  Had not the Russians soon afterwards
come to terms, not a place of importance on their southern coasts would
have been left in their possession.


While one British fleet was attacking the Russians on the southern
shores of their empire, another of still greater power was sent up the
Baltic to prove to them that no part of their coasts was safe.  Great
results were naturally expected from it, and, indeed, England had never
before sent so really powerful a fleet to sea--not on account of the
number of the ships, but from their means of inflicting injury, most of
them possessing steam power, while their guns were more effective than
any which had before been used.  The fleet consisted of the _Duke of
Wellington_, of 131 guns, _Neptune, Saint George_, and _Royal George_,
120, _Saint Jean d'Arc_, 101, _Princess Royal, James Watt, Nile_, and
_Majestic_, of 91, _Caesar_ and _Prince Regent_, of 90, _Monarch_, 84,
_Cressy_, 80, _Boscawen_ and _Cumberland_, 70, _Edinburgh, Hogue,
Blenheim_, and _Ajax_, of 60, _Imperieuse_ and _Euryalus_, of 51, and
_Arrogant_, of 46, besides frigates, sloops, and numerous
paddle-steamers, the whole under the command of Admiral Sir Charles
Napier.  Gallant and energetic as he had always proved himself, he was
now sixty-eight years of age, and those who knew him best feared too
truly that his energies had begun to fail him, and that he would have
acted more wisely by remaining on shore.  The French also sent a
considerable fleet to take part in the operations.  The first portion of
the fleet entered the Great Belt on the 25th of March, and proceeding to
the Gulf of Finland, established a rigorous blockade.  Napier then,
moving towards Helsingfors, prevented a junction of the two portions of
the Russian fleet, while in the meantime Admiral Plumridge, scouring the
Gulf of Bothnia, captured a large number of merchantmen.

One of the first exploits in the Baltic was performed by Captain
Yelverton, of the _Arrogant_, and Captain W.H. Hall, of the _Hecla_,
who, running up a narrow creek, made their way to the town of Ekness,
eight miles from the sea, where, after a sharp engagement with some
batteries, they carried off a large merchant-vessel under the noses of
the enemy.  The fleets then appeared off Cronstadt, the approaches to
which had been carefully surveyed by the indefatigable Captain Sulivan,
of the _Lightning_, but the strength of the fortifications induced the
admirals to believe that it would be useless to attack it, and they in
vain endeavoured to tempt the Russian fleet to come out and give them
battle.  Bomarsund was the first place of importance assailed.  It was
attacked on the land side by the English artillery and French troops, as
well as by the English and French marines, with a brigade of seamen who
were landed after a fort which was in their way had been blown to
pieces, while thirteen ships of the allied fleet assailed it from the
sea.  The ships directed their fire against a large circular fort
mounting nearly 100 guns, with a garrison of 2000 men, when the shot
soon shattered the huge masses of stone, which literally crumbled away
before them, and in a short time the garrison, seeing that resistance
was useless, yielded, and Bomarsund was taken possession of.  It was,
however, said that the works, though apparently strong, had been
constructed by contract, and were therefore less able to withstand the
shot hurled against them than the other fortresses which Russia
possessed on her sea-board.  Still, if such was the case, it does not
detract from the praise due to those who had made the attack.  The whole
fortress was forthwith blown up, with the exception of one portion,
which was allowed to stand for a few days to enable the _Edinburgh_ to
try some of her heavy guns against it, and it was finally levelled with
the rest of the works.

The winter season coming on, compelled the fleet to return to England.
Whatever may be said of the gallant old admiral's conduct during the
war, it was acknowledged that the crews of his ships, though
inexperienced when they set sail, returned in a high state of

While these proceedings were taking place in the Baltic, in order as
much as possible to annoy the Russians in all portions of their vast
territory, a small British squadron, consisting of the _Eurydice_,
Captain Ommaney, the _Miranda_, Captain Lyons, and the _Brisk_,
Commander Seymour, were sent into the White Sea, where, though they
found it impossible to attack Archangel, they destroyed several
government establishments.  The _Miranda_ also, steaming up the river
Kola for thirty miles, attacked the capital of Russian Lapland, of the
same name, and, with her yardarms almost over the walls, set the city on
fire and destroyed most of the public buildings and magazines.  In spite
of the hot fire with which his ship was assailed from the batteries,
Captain Lyons returned from his gallant enterprise without losing a man,
and, after capturing a fleet of merchant-vessels, rejoined Captain

The most unfortunate event of the whole war occurred on the Pacific
coast, when a small English and French squadron, in attempting to take a
number of Russian vessels anchored off Petro Pauloffsky, they were
driven off, while by bad management the whole of the Russian vessels

The following year Admiral Dundas, being appointed to the command in the
Baltic, sailed in the _Duke of Wellington_, of 130 guns, with
Rear-Admiral Sir Michael Seymour as his second in command in the
_Exmouth_, of 90 guns, and numerous other line-of-battle ships,
block-ships, and smaller vessels, nearly all fitted with the screw, and
upwards of twenty gunboats.  At the end of May the fleet arrived off
Cronstadt, when the two admirals, going on board the _Merlin_, which,
under the command of Captain Sulivan, had been actively surveying that
and other places in the Baltic, stood in to examine the works and the
Russian fleet protected by them.  They were not long in coming to the
conclusion that the place, if not impregnable, would be most difficult
to assail, while it was ascertained that a vast number of torpedoes had
been placed in all directions in the shallow waters over which the ships
must pass.  Many had been put down in the preceding year, but, though
looked for, none had been discovered; this year, however, several were
fished up, and one was brought on board the _Exmouth_, when, while
Admiral Seymour and his officers were examining it, it exploded in their
midst.  Though the admiral was wounded, as were several other officers
and men, not one was killed.  The _Merlin_, also, while passing over a
shallow, exploded two, one of which drove in her side, breaking or
disabling everything in that portion of the ship, though, happily,
without committing any further damage.  The greater number discovered
had not been properly set, and thus had become injured from various
causes.  The boats, by carefully creeping wherever they were likely to
be placed, ultimately discovered nearly the whole which it was supposed
had been laid down.  Very different would have been the result had they
been constructed as torpedoes are at the present day, when in all
probability many of our ships would have been destroyed.

The Russian fleet kept securely within their fortifications while the
English and French remained off Cronstadt.  All intention of attacking
it being abandoned, the allies proceeded in different directions.  The
smaller vessels cruised off the coast, destroying all the government
magazines and stores they could reach, and capturing innumerable
merchant-vessels; while the admirals were preparing for an attack on the
fortress of Sveaborg, which had been considerably strengthened since the
preceding year.  It stands on three islands, round the whole
circumference of which the works form an almost unbroken line, and
within them are vast arsenals full of all descriptions of warlike
stores; while in front of the fortress lies a cluster of rocky islets.
The passages between these islets had been carefully surveyed by Captain
Sulivan, and on each of those nearest the fortress, mortar batteries
were now placed, while the mortar-boats formed in a line outside them.
The gunboats and mortar-vessels in different divisions were directed to
stand in among the islets, where there was sufficient room for their
movements, while the whole were covered by the frigates, which took up
their stations outside.  Some of the principal buildings in the fortress
had been selected as targets, and so well had Captain Sulivan placed the
mortar-vessels, that the shells thrown from them fell exactly on the
spots at which they were aimed, as was ascertained by the cloud of smoke
which rose from each.  Hitherto it had been considered necessary not to
fire more than seven shots in an hour from a mortar, but Captain Wemyss,
who had charge of the mortar-vessels, considering that should such a
plan be adopted, the enemy would have time to extinguish the flames they
produced, determined to allow a much less interval to elapse, and sent
no less than thirty shells an hour from each mortar.  The gunboats were
in the meantime performing their part, moving rapidly in circles, each
boat firing as she brought her guns to bear on the fortifications.
Besides their ordinary armament, each vessel had received on board from
the line-of-battle ships a 10-inch gun, and two of them, the _Snapper_
and _Stork_, had been armed with long Lancaster guns.  These were
detached to attack a large three-decker at anchor between the islets,
and so furious a fire did they open that flames several times burst out
from her, while in a short time nearly seventy of her crew had been
killed.  The Russians, with their numerous guns, fired away rapidly in
return.  Though the gunboats were within range, their small size and
quick movements made them difficult marks to hit, and only one or two
were struck.  The batteries thrown up on the small islets were throwing
shells at the same time, while the _Arrogant, Cornwallis, Hastings_, and
_Amphion_ attacked the Drumsio and Sandham batteries, and kept them
amply employed.  About noon, some shells fell into several
powder-magazines, which blew up with successive explosions, casting huge
fragments of masonry and numberless shells into the air, proving the
destruction which had been produced.  The bombardment continued during
the whole day, and not till sunset did Admiral Dundas withdraw the
gunboats, or till some time afterwards the mortar-vessels, when the
boats of the fleet, armed with rockets, were sent off to attack Vargon
and the other principal islands, under Captain Caldwell, of the _Duke of
Wellington_.  Thus fearfully the unhappy garrison were annoyed during
the whole night, and at daybreak the gunboats and mortar-vessels again
began to play on the batteries.  The mortars, however, were so
considerably worn by the firing of the previous day, that one or two
burst, and none were so effective as before.  East Svarto, which had
before escaped, was now attacked by a division of English and French
mortar-boats, placed by Captain Sulivan considerably nearer the
fortifications than they had hitherto ventured.  Their fire was replied
to by some heavy guns, which the enemy had brought up, but no damage was
received from them.  In a short time, dense columns of smoke and forked
flames ascending in all directions showed that the buildings, magazines,
and arsenal were being destroyed, and when night came on, one unbroken
sheet of flame ascended from the fortress.  To prevent the enemy from
attempting to extinguish it, the rocket-boats were again sent in, and
effectually performed their object.  The conflagration continued, raging
all night, and on the morning of the 11th there was no sign of its
abatement.  The admiral was therefore satisfied that the work he had
undertaken was accomplished, and as the Russians had ceased to fire, he
discontinued the action.  The whole of the operation had been
accomplished without the loss of a single man killed, and scarcely 16 in
the British fleet wounded; but the slaughter among the unfortunate
Russians was prodigious.  Of one whole regiment but few had survived,
and at Vargon and Svarto a large number of the garrison had been killed.
Had shells not been used, and an attempt simply been made to destroy
the fortress with the ships' heavy guns, the allies would probably have
been driven away with severe loss, without making any impression on its
massive walls.  It was the first time in the history of war that shells
had been thrown from a distance at which the besiegers could not be
reached by the enemy's shot, or that shot had been discharged from
vessels moving at so rapid a rate as to render it scarcely possible for
the besiegers to strike them.  These circumstances, with the use of
torpedoes, showed that a new era in marine warfare had commenced, and
that from henceforth the style of fighting which had existed down to the
period of Algiers and Navarino was about entirely to be changed.

No other operation of importance was undertaken, and the winter
approaching, the admiral sent home the sailing-vessels and gunboats,
though he did not finally quit Kiel till the first week in December,
when soon afterwards the whole fleet arrived safely in England.
Happily, the various reverses he had experienced induced the Emperor of
Russia to see the hopelessness of continuing the war, and to sue for

From the time of the Crimean war and onwards, the British Navy has
happily never had occasion to engage in warfare with the ships of any of
the other great Powers.  Individual ships and "naval contingents,"
however, have taken part in operations of more or less importance, and
the first action in which a British vessel was opposed to an ironclad,
took place in 1877, when the cruiser _Shah_ engaged for some hours the
Peruvian turret-ship _Huascar_.

In the course of one of the numerous revolutions that so often convulse
the South American Republics, the latter vessel had become little better
than a pirate, by levying contributions on various seaport towns, but
having been venturesome enough to deal with British vessels in the same
way, the _Shah_ and the _Amethyst_ were sent to demand satisfaction.
The _Huascar_, however, paid no attention, and at last the British ships
opened fire on her.

The _Shah_ was a fast cruiser armed with heavy guns, but was wholly
unarmoured, while the _Amethyst_ was only a small sloop, also
unarmoured.  The _Huascar_ was a small, low, turret-ship of the
_Devastation_ type, with only one ten-inch gun mounted in her turret,
but she was thickly armoured, and obtained a great advantage by taking
up such a position that the _Shah_ had frequently to cease fire for fear
of sending her shot into the adjacent town of Ylo.

The combat continued for three hours without result, as the _Shah_ had
to keep at long-range; her shot repeatedly struck her opponent, but
without result, owing to her armour.  One shell however pierced the
armour, and bursting inside, killed one man and wounded several more.
None of the _Huascar's_ shot struck the _Shah_ although they fell close
on every side.  Night put an end to the combat, and enabled the
_Huascar_ to escape.  In the course of the action the _Shah_ fired the
first Whitehead torpedo ever used in actual warfare; the distance
however, was too great and it failed to reach the mark.  Next day the
_Huascar_ surrendered to her own government.

The next occasion on which British warships were engaged was at
Alexandria in July 1882.  There had been trouble in Egypt for some time,
and a month previously many Europeans had perished at the hands of the
Alexandrian mob.  A "National" party, headed by Arabi Pasha, was
preparing revolt, and it was found that the fortifications of Alexandria
were being strengthened, which would give serious trouble if marines had
to be landed again to give protection to the Europeans.  As the French
declined to co-operate in any way, the British Government were left to
deal with the matter alone, and, as the Egyptians declined to surrender
the forts, pending the restoration of order, notice was given that the
forts would be bombarded unless the demands were complied with.  No
answer being forthcoming, seven of the most powerful ironclads proceeded
to bombard the forts, and after firing the whole day, drove the
Egyptians from their guns and silenced the forts, blowing up a couple of
magazines, and dismounting many of the guns.  A large number of the
Egyptians were killed, while on our side, only six men were slain, the
armour giving efficient protection.  The armour of the flag-ship
however, was once perforated by a 10-inch shell, which dropped smoking
on the deck, but a brave gunner, named Israel Harding, rushed upstairs,
flung water on it to extinguish the fuse, and then dropped it into a
bucket of water.  For this brave deed, he was awarded the Victoria

Later on, our sailors gave great assistance during the expedition sent
to relieve General Gordon in Khartoum, manning the gunboats which
advanced up the Nile to that city, only to find that he had been
murdered whenever it became known that they were at hand.



We may now pass on from the history of the doings of the British Navy to
the history of the ships themselves, and the appliances with which our
sailors fought.  We have seen that in the time of King Alfred, when the
Navy, properly so-called, came into existence, ships had but one deck,
or were nearly altogether open, and had but one or two masts with large
square sails, being propelled in calms and contrary winds by long oars.
For purposes of offence they were fitted with beaks or rams to pierce
the sides of the enemy, and were provided with catapults or other
engines for hurling missiles, and with tubes for projecting Greek fire
to create smoke and set their opponent on fire.  The main tactics of the
time, however, consisted in grappling with the enemy and transforming
the combat into a hand-to-hand melee.

When cannon were first mounted on board ship, about the year 1335, they
were fired over the bulwarks, and the gunners were thus fully exposed to
the enemy's fire.  About the year 1500, however, the Dutch introduced
the modern practice of pointing the guns through ports in the ship's
side, so that the gunners would be sheltered from all shot that could
not pierce the sides.  This improvement was soon universally adopted,
and by the beginning of the sixteenth century, ships resembling on the
whole the sailing ship of modern times had been evolved, having one or
two tiers of guns.  But as the fight was still at comparatively close
quarters--owing to the guns being small, and of no great range,--
warships were fitted with cumbrous "forecastles" and "aftercastles" (see
illustration on page 69), and with heavy tops on the masts, to contain
musketeers, in order to command the enemy's deck.  These features
greatly detracted from their seaworthiness, and made them unwieldy,
cumbrous craft.

As the centuries went on, experience gradually remedied the mistakes of
the earlier builders.  Artillery also was improved, and tactics no
longer depended to the same extent on boarding and hand-to-hand
fighting.  High "forecastles" and "aftercastles," and heavy tops, thus
became of little use and were discarded, as were also the oars used on
smaller craft, as the art of sailing became better understood and
vessels more seaworthy.  For similar reasons the navigating and fighting
sections of the crew, hitherto distinct, were merged into one, only a
small number of "marines," as they are now called, being retained to
perform military duties for which fully trained seamen were not

English naval architects seem to have had little inventive genius till a
late period.  The early ships were all imitations from the Genoese or
other maritime people of the Mediterranean, while latterly the best
vessels were either taken from the French or else copied from them.  For
instance the model for all the 80-gun ships built at the beginning of
the nineteenth century was the _Canopus_, which was taken from the
French, under the name of _Franklin_, at the Battle of the Nile in 1798.
The _Belleisle_, a "74," captured in 1795, bore a conspicuous part in
the battle of Trafalgar.  Many frigates also, whose names are known to
fame, were acquired in the same way and performed useful service against
their former possessors.

In the early part of the eighteenth century British men-of-war were of
insufficient size for the guns they were made to carry, with the result
they worked and sailed heavily, while in heavy weather their lower
batteries could seldom be used.  The smaller the vessel the thinner is
her planking, and the more liable are her crew and structure to suffer
from the shot of the enemy.  Other nations realised this long before we
did, especially the Americans, who built forty-four gun frigates almost
as large as our "seventy-fours," while their planking was even thicker.
This, of course, told heavily against us in the war with the United
States, but we were taught a lesson which perhaps helped us later on.
In truth Britain's battles were won not because her ships were superior
in size or armament to those of other nations but on account of the
pluck, courage, determination, and good seamanship of British officers
and crews, and because the latter had been well trained to use their

At last British naval architects woke up from their long lethargy and
began to think for themselves.  Till the end of the eighteenth century
the ships were flat-sterned with heavy "quarter-galleries" projecting
from the side at the stern, while their bows below water were bluff with
long projecting beak-heads which, to avoid weight, were but flimsy
structures, affording no protection whatever to the crew.  In 1805 Sir
Robert Seppings remedied this defect by constructing a solid circular
bow right up to the main-deck, thus protecting the crew from raking
shot.  A dozen years later the same designer abolished the
quarter-galleries, and introduced the neater and stronger circular
stern.  From this time forward, improvements were considerable and rapid
until about 1860, when the ironclad settled the fate of the "wooden
walls" that had protected England for well-nigh a thousand years.

But, while the sailing ship was being brought to its highest perfection,
it was on the eve of being supplanted altogether.  In 1769, Watt took
out his first patent for the steam engine, and in October 1788 Mr
Miller, of Dalswinton in Scotland, first applied the new motive power to
propel a vessel.  An engine was placed on a frame, fixed between two
pleasure boats, and made to turn two paddle-wheels, one in front of the
other--the invention of William Symington--which drove the improvised
steamer across Dalswinton Loch, at the rate of five miles an hour.  The
first practical steamer, however, was not built till 1801, when Lord
Dundas, taking advantage of Mr Miller's labours, after spending 7000
pounds on experiments in two years, built the _Charlotte Dundas_.  It
was intended to work her on the Forth and Clyde Canal, but the
proprietors having objected that she would damage the banks, she was
laid up, as was a second boat.

In 1804, John Stephens of Hoboken, near New York, built a small vessel
22 feet in length, which ran at the rate of seven or eight miles an
hour, and Fulton soon afterwards introduced steamers on the Hudson.  In
the year 1812 the _Comet_ was launched by Henry Bell, a ship carpenter
of Helensburgh, and began to ply on the Clyde, being the first British
steamer that ran regularly with passengers.  The _Comet_ was of 40 feet
keel, 25 tons burthen, and 3 horse-power.  The second steamer launched
on the Clyde was the _Elizabeth_, in 1813, and the year following, Mr
Fife of Fairlie launched the _Industry_, which was in use for upwards of
fifty years.  After this, steam navigation rapidly increased, steamers
being introduced on the Thames in 1815.

The first war steamer ever built, was constructed by Fulton during the
war between the United States and Great Britain in 1814, It was a large
vessel after the plan of the first experimental steamer, two vessels
with the paddles between them, evidently to protect them from the
enemy's shot.  This vessel was intended to carry 30 guns, and was fitted
with machinery to discharge hot water through the port-holes, by which
the ammunition of the enemy would be rendered useless, and her crew
scalded to death, if they attempted to come to close quarters.  She was
also said to be armed with numerous cutlasses and pikes moved to and fro
by machinery, so that the boarding would be impossible, while it was
supposed that her paddles would enable her to keep ahead or astern of
her enemy, so that the broadside guns could not be trained on her.  It
is doubtful, however, if this marvellous production was ever actually
completed, and as her machinery could only have been imperfectly
protected, she might have been disabled and left at her enemy's mercy.

Some years later the Americans had the honour of performing the first
Atlantic voyage under steam, with the _Savannah_, which arrived at
Liverpool on July 15th 1819, after a voyage of 26 days from New York.
Six years later the _Enterprise_, an English vessel, made the longer
voyage to India.

Some years passed before it occurred to the Admiralty that steamers
could be of any use to the Navy, and it was not till 1823 that they
purchased the _Monkey_ tug, which, not withstanding its undignified name
and humble employment, had the honour of being the first steam-vessel
belonging to the Royal Navy.  She was a vessel of about 212 tons, and 80
horse-power, and did good service in her day.  Both Admiralty and naval
officers held steamers,--"smoke-jacks," or "tea-kettles," they were
generally called--in great contempt, supposing that their only possible
use would be as despatch-boats, or as tugs.  It was reasoned that
paddles would be so readily disabled in action, that it would be useless
to fit them to fighting ships.  However, after a year or so, several
steam-sloops and frigates were built which took some part in the Syrian
and Chinese wars, as also in operations in the Parana.  In none of these
wars, however, were they subjected to any severe test of their liability
to damage under fire.

All possible difficulties on this latter score, were solved in 1834,
when Mr Francis Pettit Smith invented the screw propeller, which works
wholly under water.  He succeeded in propelling a small model by this
means on his father's horsepond at Hendon, in Middlesex, and in 1836 he
took out a patent for his invention.  The idea was old; in 1775,
Bushnell, an American, had utilised it to propel a submarine boat, but
up till then, practical difficulties in working had not been solved.

Smith was neither a naval man nor an engineer, and for some time,
neither Admiralty, engineers, nor naval men believed that the invention
would work with sufficient power to drive a ship against the wind.
Fortunately others thought differently, and in 1836, a vessel of 10
tons, with an engine of 6 horse-power, was built and successfully tried,
first on the Paddington Canal, and then on the Thames.  Finally, it put
out to sea, and demonstrated by its behaviour in severe weather, that
the screw was equally successful in rough water.

This turned the scales in favour of the screw.  A larger boat was built,
which showed her powers to the Lords of the Admiralty, by towing their
barge to Blackwall and back, at the average rate of 10 miles an hour.
Still they were not convinced, and it was not for a couple of years or
so that they took the matter up, after a successful voyage made by the
_Archimedes_, the first sea-going screw steamer.  They then built a
small craft called the _Bee_, fitted with both paddles and screw, to try
which was the better means of propulsion.  The screw had the best of it,
and after the further experiment of building two vessels of the same
size and power, the one with paddles the other with a screw, and finding
the screw still superior, it was finally adopted as an auxiliary to the
sails.  Little thought the naval experts of that period, that another
fifty years or so would see both sails and wooden ships quite obsolete--
as far as the Navy was concerned at any rate.

These experiments showed clearly that the screw was absolutely essential
to every warship, as in a calm, the finest sailing ship would be at the
mercy of any small steamer, armed with long-range guns.  Thus while new
vessels were laid down specially designed to carry screws, wherever it
was found possible to do so, all the efficient battleships and frigates
were fitted with auxiliary engines.  Of course these converted sailing
ships, not having been designed for the purpose, could only carry
engines of small power, still, it was a case of half a loaf being better
than no bread, and was the best that could be done under the

The first propellers were in the form of an ordinary screw thread, but
it was soon found that separate fans were equally satisfactory, and more
convenient to make.  Much discomfort was caused by the excessive
vibration caused by the early screws, but various improvements in their
design reduced this.  The fans of the screws are now attached by means
of; bolts to a hollow sphere on the end of the shaft, and should a fan
be damaged, it can be readily replaced.  At first all screws were so
constructed, that they could be lifted up through a well when sails
alone were being used, so that it would not impede the ship.  The
funnels, too, being made to shut up like a telescope, a steamer could
thus be easily turned into a sailing ship.

At the very time that the screw propeller was initiating a revolution in
the method of steam propulsion, another revolution was taking place in
shipbuilding material.  Iron barges had been used as far back as 1787,
and an iron steamer had been built at Tipton about the year 1821, but
for another twenty years iron ships were not viewed with favour, and
only began to force their way to the front about the beginning of the
reign of Queen Victoria.  Even then they were deemed utterly unsuitable
for war vessels, as being very difficult to repair and keep afloat when
perforated by the enemy's shot, as they must inevitably be in action.
But in the course of time, the iron vessel naturally raised the
possibility of protecting warships by armour, and the matter, was forced
to the front when gunmakers followed the lead of the shipbuilders and
engineers, and set themselves to see what could be done in the way of
improving ordnance, that had remained practically unchanged for hundreds
of years, saving for more accurate workmanship.

Up till this time, only solid round-shot had been used on shipboard.  An
attempt had been made to get Napoleon the First to sanction the use of
shells for naval use; fortunately, for some reason or other, he declined
to do so, and thus our great struggle for naval supremacy was carried on
with the solid round-shot that had been in vogue from the earliest
introduction of cannon.  The smooth-bore cannon from which they were
fired, could not be relied on to project them with accuracy to distances
greater than about 1500 yards; beyond this range, their flight became so
erratic, that it was simply a waste of ammunition to fire them.
Whitworth and Armstrong set themselves to solve the problem of how to
make cannon shoot better.

The experiments of Whitworth and Armstrong resulted in the production of
rifled guns, based on a principle that had already been tried with
success in small-arms.  The rifling enabled long conical shot to be
fired with far greater accuracy than the old round-shot, and as these
conical shot were two or three times as heavy as the round-shot that
could be fired from a gun of the same bore, the guns of a given bore had
only to be rifled to be suddenly raised to a much heavier grade,
supposing them to be strong enough to stand the heavier charge of powder
required.  Not only that, but their range would be much greater, and
their shot would pass through both sides of the stoutest ship in
existence.  For, when fired at wooden targets identical in material and
thickness with the side of a ship, the projectiles went through them as
if they had been paper, or, if shells were used, tore them to pieces.
Even strong iron plates failed to withstand their impact.  The thinner
plates they tore open; as the thickness was increased, they first buried
their heads in the metal, but stuck fast; then indented it only; and
finally glanced off, but not until the plate had been made 4 or 5 inches

Further progress was also made by the invention of breech loaders, which
gave an increased rate of fire to these already formidable weapons, and
to make matters still worse, much larger guns than had ever been made
before could now be constructed without difficulty, and naval men justly
began to feel uncomfortable about the safety of our "wooden walls."

In 1859, the French led the way by constructing the _Gloire_, which was
covered with thick iron plates, and our Admiralty had to face the task
of constructing ironclad ships, and of armouring existing ships, pending
the construction of others.  One thing was very plain; the existing
high-sided ships could not carry the weight of even the thinnest armour
that would be of any service.

In 1861, the _Warrior_ was produced in answer to the French _Gloire_.
She was a frigate-built vessel doing 14 knots, and carried thirty-two
heavy guns, 200 feet only of her length of 310 feet were armoured with
iron plates 4 and a half inches thick--which was proof against any guns
then existing--as it was thought that her seaworthiness would be
impaired if the great weight of the armour were extended to the two
ends.  But to protect the vessel from raking shot--that is, shots fired
at her when bow on, or stern on, to the enemy--armoured partitions, or
"bulkheads", as they are called, were provided.

In 1861, ships of the type of the _Minotaur_ were built, armoured from
stem to stern.  These were considered monster ships at the time, as they
had a displacement of, 10,627 tons and were 400 feet in length.  Their
speed was 14 or 15 knots, attained by engines of 6,700 horse-power.  The
bow was constructed on the ram principle, projecting some distance under
the water, and her sides were covered with iron plates 5 inches thick,
tapering off in thickness, however, as they approached the bow.
Further, she was divided into many compartments below water, with
watertight doors, so that if pierced, either in action or by grounding,
she might still be kept afloat.  She was fitted with five masts, made
partly of iron, while her armament consisted of thirty-four 12-ton and
18-ton guns.  Her cost was, 478,000 pounds but she and her sister ships
the _Agincourt_ and _Northumberland_ did not come up to their
expectations, being found unwieldy on account of their great length,
while in a few years it was found that their armour was not thick enough
to withstand the more powerful guns that were being manufactured.

The next type of design was that of the _Hercules_, the prototype of the
"citadel" design.  This ship was protected from end to end by much
thicker armour than had hitherto been used, but instead of carrying the
armour right up to the upper deck, to save weight it was in the form of
a narrow belt protecting a few feet above and below the water line only,
except amidships, where it was carried up to the upper deck, forming a
"citadel," inside which her ten 18-ton and 12-ton guns were well
protected.  In this way her guns, waterline, and engines--or "vitals,"
as these are known for short--were fully protected at the expense of
less vital parts of the ship.  Though smaller and less expensive than
the _Minotaur_ she was a far more efficient ship.  Her broadside was
1818 pounds.  The _Sultan_, another ship of much the same type, had a
broadside of 1964 pounds.  During the early sixties another type of
vessel came to the front.  Captain Coles had invented the "turret,"
which consisted of a turn-table or revolving platform, round which was a
shield of thick armour, turning with it: the top was also closed in.  In
the shield was a very small port for the gun--which was aimed by
revolving the turret till it pointed at the required object.  The crew
was thus completely protected from the enemy's fire.

In the American Civil War the Federals or Northerners, had provided two
of their wooden frigates with these turrets and sent them to attack the
_Merrimac_, a cut-down wooden frigate which had been armoured and
provided with a ram.  The _Merrimac_ steamed up to the _Congress_,
delivering her fire with awful effect, and then proceeding towards the
_Cumberland_, ran into her near the bow, ripping an enormous rent in her
side, and hung on by her own sharp prow while she fired into the
fractured chasm.  She then backed out and repeated her tremendous
onslaught, suffering little from the fire of her enemy, till the latter
went down.  She next attacked the _Congress_ with shells, which killed
the greater number of the Federal crew, and in half-an-hour the few
survivors hauled down their colours.

Later on the _Merrimac_ was attacked by the armoured _Monitor_.  The two
ships hammered away at one another for many hours without result; only
five men were killed after a five hours action, for the armour beat the

The result of these actions made it clear that turret-ships to be of any
use must be armoured, and as a first experiment it was decided to
cut-down the _Royal Sovereign_, a ship of the size of the _Duke of
Wellington_.  Her masts and her three upper decks were taken off, her
lower-deck alone remaining, so that she was cut-down almost to the
water's edge.  Massive plates of iron were fastened to her sides and
deck, thus converting her into an ironclad, while four turrets were sunk
into the deck in a line fore and aft, three of them containing one huge
gun each, firing 300-pound shot, while the fourth and foremost turret
contained two guns.  The muzzles of the guns were only a little way
above the deck, and the bulwarks were hinged so that when the guns were
to be fired they could be dropped over the side so as not to be in the

Amidships was a circular armoured box, rather higher than the turrets,
called the "conning-tower."  Here the captain took his stand in time of
action, communicating with the engines, turrets, and other parts of the
ship, by speaking tubes.  In more recent ships the vessel is also
steered from the conning-tower in time of action.  Such was our first
converted ironclad turret-ship.  She was, however, found to be of little
value, drawing too much water to serve for harbour defence, and not
being handy enough at sea in manoeuvring.

Turret-ships, as first constructed, were very heavily, armoured, and in
consequence rather unseaworthy.  Being intended for coast defence only,
they always had a harbour available in bad weather, and sails were not
required as they were never far from a coal supply.

In 1869, however, Sir Edward Reed designed the first sea-going
turret-ships, properly so-called, taking the bold step, as it seemed
then, of providing no sails.  These were the _Devastation_ and
_Thunderer_, which, despite many faults, proved to be serviceable ships
for over thirty years.  These were ships of, 9,330 tons, and 14 knots
speed, and the annexed picture gives their general appearance.  Their
hulls were protected by 12-inch armour, and the turrets by 14-inch
armour, while an important improvement was introduced by providing what
is called a "protective deck," that is, a horizontal deck, of armour
several inches thick, which prevents shot from penetrating to the
engines, etcetera, below.  Their armament consisted of four 35-ton guns
firing 600-pound shot, and as all these guns could fire on either side,
their broadside was, 2,400 pounds.  Their crews were composed of only
300 men, and though they cost about 150,000 pounds less than the
_Minotaur_ they were far more efficient and powerful warships.  They lay
very low in the water, their bows rising only 9 feet above it, while the
stern was even lower, being only 4 and a half feet above the waterline.
Amidships, however, the deck was raised some 6 or 8 feet higher.

Between the two turrets was a large superstructure, the walls of which
curved outwards all over the top.  A passage passed through it from side
to side, in which were the doors leading to the hatchways and to the
hurricane deck above, on which were the conning tower, wheels, etcetera.
The boats were also carried on this deck, high above the water, so that
there was no obstruction to the firing of the guns in the turrets below.

It might have been supposed, that a ship so low in the water could not
venture out to sea in rough weather, but, though her forecastle was
frequently completely submerged in a heavy sea, she has behaved very

Other turret ships, however, had been built a year or two earlier with
masts and sails, and bows of ordinary height.  At first these ships were
over-masted and canvassed, but after one of them, the _Captain_,
capsized during a gale in the Bay of Biscay, this defect was remedied.
This class was represented by the _Monarch_, completed in 1869, a vessel
of 8930 tons, and 15 knots speed.  She carried seven guns, those in the
turrets weighing 25 tons.

The turret-ship reached its highest development in the year 1876, when
the _Inflexible_ was designed.  By this time, guns had so greatly
increased in power, that the thickness of armour required to withstand
their shot was very great, and, as this involved an enormous addition to
the dead weight that had to be carried, some means had to be devised
whereby an efficient protection could be carried.  The "central citadel"
form of design was that finally adopted, in which the armour was
concentrated on a citadel in the centre of the vessel, amply protecting
the engines, turrets, and other "vitals" of the ship, the rest of the
hull being left wholly unprotected, save for a "protective deck," about
the level of the waterline.  This deck being horizontal, would always be
struck by shot at a very oblique angle, hence its thickness afforded a
much greater amount of protection--about double--than if placed
vertically on the sides.

The _Inflexible_ was a ship of 11,800 tons, and was driven at a speed of
nearly 13 knots, by engines of 6,500 horse-power.  The turrets were
arranged one on each side of the ship, and thus enabled to fire both
ahead and astern or on the broadside.  These turrets were protected by
armour 18 inches thick, and each carried two 80-ton guns, firing a
1700-pound shot to a distance of eight miles.  These monster
muzzle-loading guns were loaded from outside the turret, by means of
hydraulic machinery.  The armour on the sides was 2 feet thick, and the
vessel was divided into 135 compartments, so that she would not be
readily sunk.  The _Inflexible_ was the last of the turret-ships
properly so-called.  She was not the success that had been hoped; her
engine power, which gave only 12 and a half knots, had been sacrificed
to obtain heavier armament and protection, and as she was slower than
much older ships, she was laid aside before vessels launched earlier
than she was.  About this time, the combination of several important
factors worked a revolution in warship design.  The Russo-Turkish war of
1878-79, taught that a torpedo was a more important element in naval
warfare than had been imagined.  Launches going at the rate of 18 or 20
miles an hour, covered a mile in about three minutes, and if they
attacked at night, were so small, quick-moving, and indistinguishable,
that they could attack the most powerful battleship with little risk of
being hit by the snap shots of the few slow-firing heavy guns, with
which modern ships were armed.

The machine gun was first introduced to meet this danger; it could send
a continuous shower of rifle bullets at the approaching boat, and riddle
and sink her before she got near enough to do mischief; but when torpedo
boats began to be armoured with iron plates, proof not only against
rifle bullets, but even against the heavier Hotchkiss and Nordenfeldt
half-pounder guns, except at very close ranges, it was seen that an
armament of small guns was desirable to repel torpedo boats, or to be
used against unarmoured cruisers, whose superior speed would soon take
them out of danger from the slow-firing heavy guns.  Another factor was
the introduction of longer guns, and what are termed "slow burning"
powders.  These last do not explode with such sudden violence as the
ordinary powder, so that there is less sudden strain on the gun, while a
steadier pressure on the shot is kept up.  The long gun enables the
pressure of the gases formed by the burning powder to act longer on the
shot, with the result that a higher velocity is given to it, not only
increasing its range, but also its penetrative power.

The result of these improvements was to some extent a repetition of what
had taken place when rifled guns were first introduced.  Guns could be
made lighter, and yet be much more powerful than the old patterns of the
same bore, and it was seen that a ship could with advantage be provided
with a "secondary" armament, as it is called of these smaller yet
powerful guns.  Armour, too, was being improved, so that it could be
made thinner and yet equally effective; higher speeds were also called
for, and it was evident that warships must be designed on different
lines to meet or take advantage of the new conditions.

The first ship designed on the new lines was the _Collingwood_, a vessel
of 9,500 tons, 16 and a half knots speed, and 7,000 horse-power.  She
was the first ship of what was called the "Admiral class,"--several
sister ships named after famous admirals.  The four heavy guns of the
_Devastation_ type of turret-ship were retained, mounted fore and aft,
but instead of placing them in turrets, the turret armour was fixed to
the deck, forming what is known as a "barbette," or breastwork, over the
upper edge of which the gun fired.  Inside the barbette the gun revolved
on its turn-table; its breech, together with the gunners, was protected
by a hood of armour which revolved with the gun.  This arrangement is
probably less liable to be knocked out of action by the enemy's shot
than the turret.

Amidships was the "secondary" armament of six 6-inch breech-loading
guns.  All the guns were mounted well above the water, enabling them to
be used even in a heavy sea, which could not be done in the case of
ships lying low in the water like the _Devastation_.

A further impetus was given to the development of the secondary armament
by the introduction of "smokeless" powder--which, however, gives a
_very_ slight smoke,--and the "quick-firing gun."  By simplifying the
breech mechanism, using metal cartridge cases for the ammunition instead
of silk bags--which necessitated the sponging out of the piece after
each shot to remove the smouldering fragments--arranging the "sights" of
the gun so that it could be aimed while loading was going on, and other
ingenious arrangements, it was found that 6-inch 100-pounder guns could
be fired many times per minute without any mechanical appliances.  About
the same time also, means were found of firing with safety what are
called "high explosives," that is, explosives of far greater destructive
power than the same weight of gunpowder.  Similar improvements were
naturally extended to the larger guns, and thus there has been a
reversion to the type of ships mounting a fair number of guns, the
lighter ones, firing shells of 100 pounds, being intended to wreck the
unarmoured portions of the enemy, and demoralise his crew; the heavier
ones, 200-pounders, 380-pounders, and 850-pounders, being adapted to
pierce the armour and destroy the guns or the machinery.  Some idea of
the terrible power of modern quick-fire guns may be obtained when it is
mentioned that a modern ship, armed with _one_ 6-inch 100-pounder gun
could fire--and hit every time too, at three-quarters-of-a-mile range--a
greater weight of metal per minute than could be kept up by the 52 guns
on the broadside of Nelson's _Victory_, or even by the broadside of the
more modern _Britannia_.

Such are the types of the principal battleships constructed up to nearly
the end of the nineteenth century, and we may now glance at the

The frigate of the olden days, used for scouting and cruising, was the
favourite ship in the great wars, as they bore off the greatest
proportion of prize-money, and afforded their commanders greater
opportunities of gaining promotion and distinction.  As already
mentioned, the French built faster and finer craft of this description
than we did, and Nelson was always complaining that we had not a
sufficient number of swift frigates to keep down whose of the enemy.

The frigates had from 28 to 50 guns, and did not vary much in general
design, although the Americans taught us to build them of larger size
and of thicker planking.  When steam was introduced, engines were fitted
to these cruisers, and they were given a few knots superior speed to the
line-of-battle-ships.  To enable them to keep the sea for long periods
without their bottoms becoming fouled by marine growths--which decrease
the speed--their iron hulls were sheathed wood, which in its turn was
covered by copper.  Ships of this type were not armoured.  The _Shah_,
which fought the _Huascar_ in 1877, was a ship of this description; she
carried 26 heavy guns, and had a speed of 16 knots.

Other vessels were specially designed as rams.  The sinking of the
powerful battleships _Vanguard_, in the Irish sea, and _Victoria_, in
the Mediterranean, after accidental collision with the ram of another
ship in the squadron, shows the terrible effect of this weapon when it
can strike home.  But torpedoes render it highly improbable that the
opportunity of using it will ever arise.  Modern naval battles will
probably be fought and decided, at the _minimum_ range of 2 miles, or



For many centuries after the invention of gunpowder, little change took
place in the weapons used in naval warfare, the chief developments being
in the way of better workmanship and material, and the production of
guns of larger size.

About the end of the eighteenth century, however, the period from which
so many of our modern improvements begin to date, inventors began to
plan new and improved methods of disposing of the enemy.  About the year
1770, the American Bushnell conceived the idea of what his
fellow-countryman Fulton afterwards called the "torpedo."  This weapon
consisted of a case of powder which was to be attached to the bottom of
the enemy's ship by the aid of a submarine boat, leaving it to explode
later on by means of a clock inside.

The submarine boat was actually made in 1775; it was egg-shaped in form,
and held one man.  It was propelled through the water by means of a
screw propeller, worked by manual power; a similar screw, arranged
vertically, enabled the boat to rise or sink at will.  With this boat,
during the War of Independence, he, or some other operator, succeeded in
getting under a British man-of-war lying at anchor near New York.
Without her crew having the slightest suspicion of his presence, he
attempted to screw his torpedo to her bottom, but his auger encountered
what appeared to be a bar of iron.  When shifting to another position he
lost the ship altogether, and being unable to find her again was forced
to cast off the torpedo and make away, as the clock-work inside had been
arranged to explode soon afterwards.  And about an hour later the crew
of the warship were first roused to their danger by the explosion of the
torpedo at no great distance from them, and they were the more alarmed
as they were wholly unable to account for it.

In the beginning of the nineteenth century another American, named
Fulton, having borrowed Bushnell's ideas, came over to Europe and
endeavoured to get the French government to take up his plans for
submarine warfare.  After long delay he was at length given the sum of
10,000 francs, with which he successfully constructed a submarine boat.
In this boat he remained under water for more than four hours, and
having been required to blow up a small vessel had no difficulty in
getting under her and in blowing her to pieces with his torpedo.  The
torpedo in a highly developed form is now one of the most important
weapons in naval tactics.

In spite of the success of Fulton's experiments, his plans were not
adopted, either by Napoleon or by the British Admiralty, to whom Fulton
afterwards offered them.  The great European wars having been brought to
an end by the downfall of Napoleon, the torpedo for a while sunk into
oblivion, although during the Crimean war the Russians used submarine
mines to protect their harbours.  But during the American Civil War the
torpedo was again brought to the front, and the Southerners, or
"Confederates," used vast numbers of them, to the great damage of the
Northerners, or "Federals."

At first these torpedoes proved so harmless--so few exploding out of the
hundreds laid--that the Federal officers paid little attention to them.
But as the war went on, better methods of exploding them were devised,
and vessel after vessel was sunk in a few minutes, often with great loss
of life.  Some of these were sunk by submarine mines fired by
electricity, others by floating torpedoes drifted down by the current or
tide; others again by torpedoes at the end of a long spar carried in a
small launch.  In one instance, a submarine boat was employed, propelled
by a screw worked by eight men.  Instead of running just beneath the
surface, however, her crew insisted on keeping the hatchway just above
water, and open, with the result that the wave caused by the explosion
of her torpedo rushed in and swamped her, so that she went to the bottom
with all on board.

Another night a large frigate was blockading Charleston harbour when a
_David_--as these torpedo boats were then called--was seen approaching.
The frigate, which carried a crew of 700 men, slipped her cable and made
off at full speed, although she was only being attacked by a small
launch, manned by four men, armed with a few pounds of powder extended
on a spar in front of her!  In spite of a fierce fusillade aimed at her,
not a shot struck the _David_, which returned in safety to Charleston.

The Russo-Turkish War afforded several additional examples of the same
kind, which, as already mentioned, had not a little to do with the
alteration in naval design and tactics that took place during the last
two decades of the nineteenth century.

Torpedoes were of three kinds: the first were really submarine mines,
and were placed in a river channel, being fired by electricity when the
vessel came over them.  The second kind was the floating or Harvey's
torpedo, consisting of a long narrow, but deep wooden case from 44 to 60
inches in length, which contained 30 to 80 pounds of gunpowder, inside a
copper lining.  It had two levers projecting on the outside, which, on
striking an object, set off the explosive inside.  This torpedo was used
in two ways: the first by setting it adrift on a river, or where there
was a well-marked current setting towards the enemy's ships, when the
current carried it to its destination; the other way was by towing it at
night, by means of a long line, across the bows of an enemy's ship; it
exploded whenever it came in contact with the ship.

The third kind of torpedo was practically a Harvey's torpedo attached to
a long boom, or pole, about 28 feet long.  This was carried at the
gunwale of a fast steam launch at night; on nearing the enemy's ship
this boom was pushed forward so as to bring the torpedo ten feet below
the surface and well in advance of the boat.  The torpedo exploded when
it struck the ship, and to prevent the torpedo-boat from being sunk by
the huge wave raised by the explosion, it had to be covered in front by
a shield.

The experiences of the two wars already mentioned showed the difficulty
of dealing with torpedo boats at night, and "search lights" are now
installed on all modern warships.  These consist of an electric arc lamp
of 25,000 candle-power, combined with a reflector, which concentrates
the light so that it brilliantly lights up objects at a great distance.
Torpedo boats can be readily discovered when a mile or more distant and,
at the same distance from the light, the rays are so powerful that a
newspaper can be read with the greatest ease.

Torpedo attack, however, has been revolutionised by the invention of
"Whitehead's torpedo," which can be used from a distance.  In shape it
is exactly like a huge cigar, 12 to 18 inches in diameter, and 6 to 10
feet long.  At the head is the explosive; behind this is a reservoir
containing air compressed to an enormous pressure, which drives engines
contained in a third compartment, and which in their turn work a screw
propeller at the back of the torpedo.  There is also mechanism which
automatically adjusts the depth at which the torpedo travels below the
water, and other mechanism which ensures that it will keep going in the
direction in which it was fired.  Such a torpedo is now effective up to
two miles, and it will traverse this distance in about six minutes.

Torpedoes are discharged from what are called "torpedo tubes" by means
of compressed air.  These tubes are to all intents and purposes, guns
made of thin steel, the torpedo being put in at the breech.  Those used
on board torpedo boats or similar light fast craft are mounted on a
swivel on the deck; in larger vessels they are usually placed below the
waterline so as to be free from the serious consequences that would
ensue if the tube were struck by the enemy's shot, while a torpedo was
in it.  Torpedoes have also been invented which are steered by

The problem of protecting ships against torpedoes is a difficult one,
and no satisfactory solution has yet been arrived at.  All large
warships, however, are provided with "torpedo nets" of thick iron wire,
which are hung round her at the end of long poles, which, when not in
use, are tied up alongside.  But mechanism has been invented by which
the torpedo will cut through the netting, if it encounters it, so that
at present the torpedo is master of the situation, within its range.  In
fairly shallow water a torpedo will throw a column of water nearly 200
feet into the air, by the impulse of the gases generated by the
explosion, and no ship yet built would be able to withstand its enormous

Reference has already been made to the huge guns of the _Inflexible_,
and to the improvements in both powder and guns made later on.  The
modern gun is what is called a "wire gun," from its method of
construction.  Round a central tube of steel, several layers of
immensely strong steel wire is tightly wound; a second steel tube is
then slipped on above the wire, and as this tube is hot when first put
on, when it cools it contracts and binds the layers of wire tightly
together, forming a gun of very great strength--as, indeed, it would
need to be, seeing that it has to withstand a pressure of over 16 tons
to the square inch.

The projectiles fired from naval guns are of three kinds, solid shot for
piercing the thickest armour,--as on the conning-tower, or barbettes;
"armour piercing shell," with very thick walls and small bursting
charge, which can only penetrate armour, two-thirds of that piercible by
solid shot; lastly, "common shell," in which the shell walls are much
thinner, and can thus only be used with effect against the lighter
structures of the enemy.  By placing a small "cap" of iron on the points
of ordinary shot, "capped shot" are produced; and thus provided, they
will pierce a much greater thickness of hard-faced armour than the
ordinary ones.  Against soft armour, however, they are not so efficient.

The armour of modern ships has also been greatly improved in resisting
power.  The _Inflexible_ of 1881 was protected by wrought-iron plates 24
inches thick, which weighed 2,400 tons, or a fifth of her total weight,
yet only a third of her length was protected.  Soon after her
completion, "compound" armour plates,--with a hard steel face on a
backing of wrought-iron--were introduced, which enabled a third of the
weight of the armour to be saved, yet leaving the amount of
penetrability unchanged.  Later on, "Harvey" armour, made of steel
alloyed with nickel, still further reduced the weight, and recent
improvements now make the best armour equal in resisting power to three
times its thickness of wrought-iron.  It may be mentioned also that the
coal bunkers are now arranged so as to further protect the engines,
being reckoned equivalent to about three inches of wrought-iron.

Facing page 464 are two "sections" of warships, which will, no doubt,
interest the reader.  The first is of an old steam battleship, such as
the _Marlborough_, the other, that of a modern second-class cruiser,
like the _Minerva_, which could blow the _Marlborough_ to pieces before
the latter could get her within the range of her guns.  Notice the
enormous difference in the space devoted to the engines and boilers.
The modern vessel gives a general idea of the arrangement in all classes
of modern warships.  The conning-tower will be seen below the bridge, in
front of the foremast.  The magazines are at the bottom, right below the
forward and aft guns, which in this type of vessel, are protected by a
shield only, with armoured ammunition hoists going down from it; the
barbettes of the more powerful vessels would simply be iron
breast-works, extending all round these guns.  The curved protective
deck is also seen, about the waterline, and the projecting ram, while at
the stern is the curiously shaped rudder, made in this form, because it
takes less power to work, than that of the ordinary type.



In giving a brief outline of the general features of the battleships and
cruisers composing the present British navy, it must be remembered that
the navy is made up of ships built during a period of fifteen or twenty
years; the newest being a great advance upon the older ones, yet
differing but little from those launched a few years before.

The indications at present are for fast ships of very large size, the
battleships--intended to act in squadrons--possessing the maximum of
offensive and defensive power; the cruisers--intended for scouting and
similar purposes--possessing a high rate of speed, heavy armament, and a
certain amount of protection; and, as the travelling speed of a fleet is
limited to that of the slowest vessel in the group, the aim of British
naval architects is to design all the battleships to go at approximately
the same speed, and similarly for the cruisers.  A special feature of
all British warships is the large coal supply carried, in view of the
fact that they may be required to operate in any part of the world.  For
this reason the armour in our ships is sometimes not so thick as in some
foreign ships, which sacrifice coal supply and radius of action to
obtain better protection.  In other respects our ships are second to

The British battleship of to-day varies from 12,000 up to 15,000 tons in
displacement, and has a maximum speed of fully 18 knots, or about
twenty-one miles an hour.  They are armoured from end to end, and are
provided with two protective decks; the lower one, about the level of
the water-line, being to protect the "vitals"; the upper one, to prevent
the fragments of shells from above penetrating to the batteries below.
Forward and aft are the two barbettes, each carrying a pair of long
12-inch 50-ton guns, firing 850-pound shot, capable of penetrating 28
inches of wrought iron at a range of two miles.  The secondary armament
of 6-inch or 7.5-inch guns is mounted in "casemates," or armoured
chambers, so disposed that two of them can also fire straight ahead, and
the other two straight astern.  The most recent ships have these ahead
or astern guns mounted in turrets, and in the largest ships of all, some
of which are of 18,000 tons, these guns are 9.2-inch 380-pounders.

After the battleships come the cruisers, corresponding to the frigates
of olden days,--ships whose functions correspond to that of the cavalry
of land forces, having to act as scouts, carry messages, intercept the
enemy's ships, and capture his mercantile ships, or protect their own
merchant convoys.  To perform these varied functions, one of the chief
requirements is speed, rather than heavy armament, so that it can run,
if need be, if it should happen to encounter a ship of greater power.
Accordingly the best cruisers are given the high maximum speed of 23 to
25 knots.

Cruisers are divided into two classes: armoured and unarmoured.  The
former are really modified battleships, with thin armour and somewhat
lighter armament, to enable the necessary engine power and coal supply
to be provided.  Armoured cruisers of this description could, at a
pinch, take part in fleet actions--even against ironclads, as shown at
the battle of the Yalu, between the Chinese and Japanese, when the
latter, with protected cruisers and one or two armoured cruisers,
defeated a fleet in which there were several ironclads much larger and
better protected than themselves.

The most recent armoured cruisers are ships of 13,000 to 14,000 tons
displacement, and are protected by a belt of 6-inch armour, in addition
to protective decks.  They are armed with two or four 9.2-inch
380-pounder guns, mounted in barbettes of thick armour, and with a
number of 6-inch 100-pounders; a number of 12-pounders and 3-pounders
are also carried.  Some ships of this description can spurt up to 25
knots--not so long ago considered a high speed even for a torpedo boat

The unarmoured cruisers are intended chiefly for scouting purposes, or
for capturing or protecting commerce.  As they are only intended to
fight with ships similar to themselves, which may attempt to make havoc
among our merchantmen, their only protection is a protective deck which
covers the vitals.  The first-class unarmoured cruisers have an armament
and speed similar to those of the armoured type, and may have casements
for their broadside guns, and barbettes for the heavy ones; the
second-class cruisers are armed with 6-inch and 4.7-inch guns, protected
by simple shields only, and they have a speed of from 19 to 20 knots.

In a previous chapter, the torpedo boats used in the American Civil War
were mentioned as being simply fast launches, and little progress was
made in their construction, until the Russo-Turkish war taught that
their value was much greater than had been supposed.  From that time
onwards, larger and faster boats began to be built, and even a certain
amount of protection began to be given them, consisting of 1-inch iron
plates round the boilers and engines, which was proof against
small-arms, and even against the heavier Nordenfelt machine guns, except
at the closest quarters.  Boats of this type were from 130 to 170 feet
long, and went at a speed of 22 knots.  As speeds increased, there was
less risk for the torpedo boat, and greater risk for her enemy, and it
became plain, that some means of averting torpedo boat attack must be
devised, else it would be absolutely impossible for a fleet to blockade
an enemy's coast without grave risk to itself.  Torpedo boats were
essentially for coast defence, as they could only venture out in calm
weather.  It was therefore seen that a new type of boat was required,
capable of keeping the sea in all weathers.  Accordingly, the "torpedo
boat destroyer" was designed with this object, and which, possessing
superior speed, and an armament sufficiently powerful, could run down
and destroy existing torpedo boats, would safeguard the fleet, and
enable it to keep comparatively near the blockaded coast.  These boats
were also furnished with a torpedo equipment, so that they could be used
as torpedo boats in connection with a fleet.

In these "destroyers," as they are called for short, everything must be
sacrificed to save weight; the hull must be a mere shell, and the
engines and boilers reduced to the very minimum of weight that can be
expected to stand the strain of the power developed.  When we know that
the sides of a destroyer are only 0.3-inch thick, and that her engines
and boilers only weigh 50 pounds for each horse-power they give out,
while those of a mail steamer weigh 280 pounds, and those of a cargo
steamer 440 pounds, per horse-power developed, we can hardly wonder that
these boats have frequent breakdowns.

Present day destroyers are boats of 200 to 300 tons displacement, and
are about 227 feet long.  They attain a maximum speed of about 33 knots,
or 37 miles an hour, which is produced by engines of 6,000 to 8,000
horse-power.  They carry two swivel torpedo tubes on deck, and an
armament of one 12-pounder gun and six 3-pounders.  They are also fitted
with search lights.  To prevent the sea from breaking over the bows, it
is raised somewhat higher than the rest of the deck, and is curved at
the sides, so that waves breaking over it are diverted to the side,
instead of sweeping aft over the deck.  The bridge is placed at the rear
of this hood, and carries the 12-pounder gun.  These boats carry 80 tons
of coal, and have a crew of 60 men.  The accomodation for the crew,
however, is very cramped, and those who work them have to put up with a
good deal of discomfort.

Like the torpedo boats, destroyers are low in the water; with their
short dumpy funnels, short mast, and inky hue, they have a peculiarly
"wicked" appearance.

A new departure in these boats has been made by the introduction of
"turbine" engines, which are much lighter and take up less room than
engines of the ordinary type.  These engines go at such a high rate of
speed that four screw-propellers have to be provided to transmit the
power efficiently.  Turbine destroyers have attained a speed of 35 and a
half knots, or nearly 41 miles per hour.  One more type of vessel
remains to be mentioned, which is receiving a good deal of attention at
present.  These are the "submarines," or boats designed to navigate
under water.  Their use, however, is largely discounted by the fact that
it is impossible to see to any distance under water--in fact, a
well-known submarine expert has said that the navigation of a submarine,
even under the best conditions, presents exactly the same difficulties
as that of an ordinary ship sailing in a fog.  Hence a submarine must
frequently rise to the surface to ascertain the distance traversed, and
see that the proper course has been kept, and until some satisfactory
means of avoiding this has been discovered, submarines will probably
remain of comparatively little value for purposes of war.

The submarines made for the Navy are, 63 feet long, by 11 and 3 quarters
feet broad.  When running "awash"--that is, with a small part of their
upper works above water, they are driven by a gasoline engine at a speed
of over 10 miles an hour.  Sufficient gasoline is carried to take them
over 400 miles at this speed.  When submerged, the speed is naturally
glower; the gasoline engines are stopped, all openings are closed, and
electric storage batteries are put in operation.  These drive the boat
at the rate of eight miles an hour, but for a run of four hours only,
after which the batteries require recharging.  For this reason
submarines always require to act in concert with what has been called a
"mother ship."

The most important types of vessels composing the British Navy have now
been described.  There are many others--sloops, gunboats, transports,
despatch-boats, coal ships, hospital-ships, etcetera, which need not be
more than mentioned.  What warships will be like in the future it is
impossible to forecast, as will be seen from what has been already said.
Improvements in armour and guns, as well in machinery, are ever being
made, which may alter the present type of ship altogether.  Sad it is to
think of the enormous expenditure of money and ingenuity in providing
means of destroying our fellow-men with the greatest facility, and what
a relief it would be to everybody if only the nations could agree to
disarm--and keep disarmed!  But as this may not be, for the present at
any rate, we must be content to bear the burden of our national
insurance policy, and, however much we may grudge its necessity, see
that our naval power is sufficient to keep the command of the sea, on
which our very existence as a nation depends.  Of one thing we may rest
certain, that the same spirit, the same indomitable courage and
readiness to sacrifice their lives in defence of their country, exists
among our officers and men in not less proportion than it did before
England was engaged in that glorious struggle, with the world in arms
against her, for her liberties and independence, the successful
termination of which secured for her that peace which has now endured,
with few interruptions, for well-nigh a century.  That peace it will be
our wise policy to maintain while we can do so with honour; at the same
time guarding ourselves by every means in our power against the assaults
of envious foes who may venture to attack us.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves - Updated to 1900" ***

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